13 people killed in night raid
Published on March 4, 2008, 12:00 am
By Osinde Obare
Thirteen people, including five family members, were killed when suspected Sabaot Land Defense Force (SLDF) gang raided a trading centre in Trans-Nzoia West District.
The family belonged to a Kenya Police Reservist, who the raiders accuse of betrayal.
Police said failure by residents to pay the militia illegal protection fees could have caused the attack at Embakasi, Saboti constituency, Monday morning.
Six children aged below five and two women were admitted to the Kitale District Hospital with burns and cuts.
The reservist, Mr Rabson Mbuya, survived the attack but his relatives were burnt after the raiders set ablaze their houses in the 3am ambush.
He lost his wife, Mary, and children — Sofia, 6, Titus, 8, and Samuel, 3, and a house help identified as Moses.
Two other children were admitted to hospital with 90 per cent burns.
Mbuya was on patrol during the raid.
“I saw them knock the door of my house several times, but when there was no response, they poured petrol and burned the house. I heard my wife and children scream, but I could not rescue them,” Mbuya told The Standard at the hospital amid sobs.
A pregnant woman was also burnt inside her house.
Out of the casualties, four had gun wounds while three others had their heads chopped off.
Kitale West DC, Mr Francis Mutie, led the security team to the area.
Local MP, Mr Eugene Wamalwa, also visited the market.
The DCIO, Mr Issa Mohamud, said more than 300 raiders were hiding in Pango caves in Sosiot Forest in Mt Elgon District.
Residents said SLDF was demanding monthly protection fee of Sh2,000 from employed people and Sh500 from others.
“This is our biggest problem because none of the victims is willing to record a statement, let alone appear in court as witness,” added Mohamud.
But Mt Elgon MP, Mr Fred Kapondi, denied the claim, urging those who had been charged the protection fee to report to him.
“If they are fearing, why can’t they contact me so that I can raise the matter with the security personnel?” he posed.