Tension high in Marakwet East after bandits kill two girls

security meeting

A security officer and members of the public attend a security meeting at Tot in Kerio Valley, Elgeyo Marakwet County on January 31, 2022.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

Tension is high in Ketut in Marakwet East Sub County following the Sunday killing of two girls by bandits who also stole livestock.

The two, a Form Three student at Kabulwo Secondary School and her younger sister who is a Class Seven pupil at Kabetwa Primary School died after the bandits sprayed them with bullets while they were herding their family’s livestock.

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki is expected to tour the area on Wednesday.

Mr Daniel Bowen, the girls’ father, said his daughters were in the company of the other children who escaped.

“Initially we never allowed our children to look after livestock due to rampant insecurity. On Sunday, I told them to herd the animals while I run some errands,” he said.

He said the bandits attacked the girls at around 10:30 am. 

 “It was heart-wrenching to see my daughters’ bodies lying in pools of blood with several gunshot wounds. The bandits drove away my 70 cows. It is a double tragedy to lose children and livestock,” he told Nation.Africa.  

He asked the government to address the perennial cattle rustling and banditry in the region.

Mr Johnstone Kataffi, a local, said they were optimistic the Kenya Kwanza administration would address the insecurity issue.

“The culprits are known, they come from the Tilingwo area in Tiaty West sub-county. If the government is serious, the suspects should be arrested immediately.

The attacks happened as leaders and clerics from Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot congregated at Kapsait grounds for the annual peace prayers for the two neighbouring Pokot and Marakwet communities.

On Monday, leaders including Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen, Governor Wisley Rotich and Marakwet East MP David Bowen visited the home to condole with the family of the two girls.   

 “It is sad that as we prayed for peace among our communities, we lost two innocent girls to banditry. I call upon all security organs to ensure that perpetrators of the attack are brought to book and all stolen livestock recovered,” said Governor Rotich.

He said they recently tested a surveillance drone at Tot. The drone will aid security officers in tracing and trailing bandits. 

Elgeyo Marakwet County Commissioner John Korir said it was unfortunate that lives were lost in the region that had experienced peace in the last seven months.  

“We have sent more police officers to the region to ease tension and work with their counterparts in Baringo to trace and arrest the culprits and recover stolen livestock,” Mr Korir said.