Mystery surrounds discovery of six bullet-riddled bodies

Friday, January 22nd, 2021 00:00 |
Security officers patrol the bandit-ridden Kapedo area which has in the past few weeks been scene if tribal clashes. Photo/PD/FILE

Mystery surrounds the discovery of six bullet-riddled bodies in Arabal, Baringo County on Wednesday. 

The incident comes two days after the family of one of the victims dismissed claims that he was part of the bandits believed to have attacked the area.

Yesterday, the family of Paul Kosgei, a Teacher Service Commission (TSC) official stationed in Chemolingot, Tiaty sub-county described him as honest and hardworking.

Kosgei, who hails from Emining in the neighbouring Mogotio sub-county, has been working in Chemolingot for over five years.

Tension remained high in Tiaty yesterday as fresh details of their last moments emerged.

According to sources, the six were arrested inside a bar in Chemolingot and bundled into a waiting car before it sped away into the darkness. 

“They were having a drink and chatting away the night when they were whisked away,” said a source who sought anonymity.

“We made a missing report at Nginyang’ Police Station. We later received news that six bodies were found at Arabal and are lying at a Kabarnet morgue.  We went there and discovered that he was no more,” said Kosgei’s colleague.

Other who have been identified include Nelson Kordado a primary school headteacher, Brian Silale, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) administrative assistant in-charge of Tiaty Constituency, Medical Training College student David Kukat and businessman Kanga Siareng. The sixth person had not been identified by the time of going to press. 

In a statement, IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati condemned Silale’s murder and called for thorough and expeditious investigations to unmask his killers and bring them to book.

Our source who wished not to be named owing to the sensitivity of the matter further said Kosgei might have found himself in the wrong company.

Actual situation

The distance between Chemolingot and Arabal where the bodies were found is more than 50 kilometres.

Another source said the six had been having drinks with an undercover policeman who was investigating the actual situation in the area.

Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya, however, said the six were in a group that had attacked Arabal before they were subdued by police in “an exchange of fire.”

He said that during the Tuesday afternoon attack, armed men suspected to be from the neighboring Tiaty sub-county stole more than 50 cows.

The regional boss says police responded immediately to recover the animals and arrest the criminals.

“There was a fierce exchange between the bandits and security officers. Anyone found dead in the area might be a police or a bandit,” he said.

The situation has been exacerbated by the ongoing geothermal exploration by Geothermal Development Company.

In West Pokot, business came to a standstill in Makutano town yesterday after residents held a peaceful demonstration demanding that the government stops the security operation.

“It is sad that people have lost their lives. The government must halt this operation to allow for reconciliation,” said Nominated  Ward Rep Elijah Kasheusheu. Reporting by Noah Cheploen, Wycliff Kipsang and David Musundi

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