Bandits raid village 2km from Gen Ogolla crash site, steal livestock

A scene where a KDF helicopter carrying Chief of Defence Forces General Francis Ogolla and 11 others crashed

A scene where a KDF helicopter carrying Chief of Defence Forces General Francis Ogolla and 11 others crashed at Sindar, Kaben Location at the border of  Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot counties. 

Photo credit: Oscar Kaikai | Nation Media Group

Daring cattle rustlers on Friday raided Sowero village in Elgeyo Marakwet County which is barely two kilometers away from the scene of plane crash that claimed lives of senior military officers, among them Chief of Defence Forces Gen Francis Ogolla.

The cattle rustlers drove away 15 animals, which were later recovered by a multi-agency team.

“Ironically, just a day after the accident that killed CDF Francis Ogolla and nine other military officers, some bandits have made daring raid in my location at Sowero area, and stole 15 animals, a few kilometers from the crash scene,” said Kaben location chief Kiririon Tarus.

Confirming the incident, Mr Tarus said the raid took place despite the presence of security officers manning the plane crash scene.

“Thanks to swift moves by our security agencies who moved in swiftly and recovered the stolen cattle after repulsing the suspects,” said Mr Tarus.

The local administrator said the raid is an indication that there is a need for more efforts to eradicate bandits in the area.

Mr Tarus urged locals to work together with security agencies to wipe banditry menace in the North rift.

“Time has come for locals to work together with all security agencies in this region to completely eliminate this menace of banditry and cattle rustling,” he added.

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Wisely Rotich condemned the incident, calling on the national government to take lethal action against bandits.

“Emboldened bandits could not allow us to mourn our soldiers. How daring are they that even before wreckages of reminiscence of cruel death of our soldiers are yet to be cleared from the scene?” Asked Mr Rotich.

The forest where the military chopper crashed is referred to as ‘Peace field’ where communities from West and West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet intend to convert into a farmland for production of crops as alternative source of livelihood.

Gen Ogolla was in the area to assess the progress by military officers involved in the ‘Operation Maliza Uhalifu’ in the region.

He visited some schools that government had promised will be rehabilitated and opened for schoolchildren to access.

Last year, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki had promised that the government would release Sh100 million to renovate all schools destroyed by bandits in the region to resume learning.

Some of the schools that were targeted for renovation are Sibilo Secondary and Primary School, Koroto Secondary and Primary Schools, Biretwonin Primary School, Akorayan Primary School, Moinonin Primary School, Chepkwel Primary School, Kosile Primary School, and Ng’aratuko Primary School.

Others are Kagir Primary School, Yatya Secondary School, Rondinin Primary School, Karimo Primary School, Sesianin Primary School, Kasepeiwa Primary School, Naipen Primary School and Kibenos Primary School.