Laikipia clashes: Kamket, former MP Lempurkel arrested over violence
Roy Lumbe and Nancy Gitonga
Tiaty MP William Kamket and former Laikipia North MP Mathew Lempurkei were yesterday arrested as the government intensified crackdown on suspected masterminds of the raging skirmishes in Laikipia County.
Kamket was arrested in his constituency in Baringo County yesterday morning and driven to the regional police headquarters in Nakuru County before being locked up at the Kaptembwo Police Station on the outskirts of the town, awaiting to be taken to court this morning.
Lempurkei was arrested at his residence in Ongata Rongai and arraigned at the Milimani Law Courts in connection with the skirmishes.
The prosecution asked the court to grant it fourteen days to continue holding Lempurkel at the Kileleshwa Police Station as it finalises investigations over his alleged involvement in the skirmishes with a view to charging him with incitement to violence.
The State alleges that the former MP has been issuing inflammatory statements on a live TV show between May and July.
Chief Inspector Wanga Masake from the DCI informed the court that they are investigating the former MP over several allegations of incitement to violence, murder, livestock theft, robbery with violence and spreading of hate speech.
“The main suspect before this court made utterances that have led to commission of murder of Kikuyus, Meru, Kisii and other tribes surrounding the conservancy and ranches in Laikipia,” said Masake.
“As we stand before this court, there is no peace in the community,” he added.
But Lempurkei through his lawyer Saitabao Kanchori urged the court to dismiss the application saying he is being harassed by the authorities.
“What is before this court is a case of harassment, the government is seeking a sacrificial lamb,” said Kanchori.
Senior Resident Magistrate Sinkiyian Tobiko dismissed the prosecution’s request and ordered it to detain the former MP at the Kileleshwa Police Station until today morning to have him arraigned.
Baringo Police County Commander Robinson Ndiwa confirmed that they had arrested Kamket in connection with the unrest in Laikipia.
He claimed Kamket was linked with the skirmishes since a number of criminals causing trouble in Laikipia were from Baringo.
Ndiwa claimed that Kamket is among several politicians who have employed bandits to take care of thousands of animals in the area.
He said in the ongoing operation, officers have faced a lot of resistance from the heavily armed bandits.