Detectives probe puzzle of missing granny, family feud over lease of land to gold mining firm

A view of the entrance to a tunnel at Karebe Gold Mining Company in Chesame, Nandi County.  Ms Pauline Jeptoo Korir's gfamily links her disappearence to the leasing of part of her land to the gold mining company.

Photo credit: File I Nation Media group

Detectives in Nandi County are investigating an incident where a 72-year-old woman has gone missing after leasing land to a local gold mining company.

Ms Pauline Jeptoo Korir, according to her family, went missing on September 22, 2023 after she was allegedly picked up by two of her eight children.

Police have confirmed that some of her family members have recorded statements over the missing woman.

The family claims the two siblings know the granny's whereabouts since they had allegedly picked her up from her Chemase home.

The two were reportedly opposed to the woman’s move to lease the family land to Karebe Gold Mining company to extract minerals for the next 15 years.

Part of the family also claims that powerful forces were using the two brothers to frustrate Karebe Gold Mining Company from acquiring the land.

The family claims their missing mother might have been ‘kidnapped’ to forge land documents and force her into disowning the land lease.

It is alleged that the two siblings picked  her up from her home  on account of taking her to register for a cash transfer programme in Tinderet sub-county.

Her family says the granny was picked by the two siblings - among them a stepchild of the woman - who hired a motorcycle that took them to Chemelil trading centre.

At Chemelil, the three allegedly boarded a matatu to Kapsabet town. However, the two sons allegedly returned home at 8pm on Friday without their mother.

The woman’s other children said they were in support of her decision to lease the 2.5-acre piece of land to Karebe Gold Mining Company and that they have spent sleepless nights  after failing to locate her.

“The gold mining company acquired the portion that is under a tea plantation from our mother and the nuclear family of Cheseret Korir was consulted and were in agreement on their mother leasing the land to Karebe Gold Mining company,” stated a family member.

Four of the siblings have recorded statements with detectives at Kapsabet Police Station and demanded the arrest of their two brothers over their missing mother, noting that they should be held accountable and explain where they took their mother and why they are opposed to her leasing land to the gold mining company when they have their parcels of family land.

Villagers at her rural home have also raised concerns over the missing woman.

Nandi County Director of Investigations Douglas Chikanda said detectives have summoned the two siblings to record statements over the missing woman.

The Nation has also established that one of the siblings was among the 10 suspects who had been charged before Kapsabet Law Courts in April this year over the death of three miners who were killed in a controversial underground explosion.
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