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Sunday, June 25, 2017

MCA Thomas Minito's body found in Athi River with head, neck injuries

Churo-AMaya ward representative Thomas Minito who was found dead in Ol Donyo Sabuk, Athi River, on the morning of May 19, 2017. /JOSEPH KANGOGO
Churo-AMaya ward representative Thomas Minito who was found dead in Ol Donyo Sabuk, Athi River, on the morning of May 19, 2017. /JOSEPH KANGOGO

MCA Thomas Minito, who had been missing for five days, was found dead in Ol Donyo Sabuk, Machakos on Friday morning.

The Churo-Amaya ward representative had been termed a bandit leader and linked to attacks in the volatile Kerio Valley. He went missing on Monday.

The bodies of human rights lawyer Willie Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and taxi driver Joseph Murirui were found in the area last year. Investigations into these killings are yet to be completed.

Read: Baringo MCA linked to Laikipia bandit attacks goes missing

Also see: Willie Kimani murder: Diver narrates horror of finding bodies floating in River Athi

Officers at Ol Donyo Sabuk police station said a boda boda rider called with the report that he had found a body in River Athi, just under the bridge.

The officers visited the scene alongside others from the Kangundo DCI. They said the body had visible head, neck and hand injuries, indications that the victim may have been strangled to death.

Machakos police chief Samuel Mukindia said police believed the body they collected was Minito's as they found a voter's card with his name. Family members are yet to identify the body which was taken to Machakos district mortuary.

The Baringo criminal investigation department is yet to produce a report on the Pokot leader's abduction and murder.

Minito was last seen at about noon on Monday having lunch with a woman before three men in plain clothes approached saying he was under arrest.

"They demanded he accompany them to the police station to record a statement after identifying themselves as officers," the woman said when she reported the incident at the Kabarnet station about 20 minutes later.

Minito's phone was traced to between Sesya and Koriema along Kabarnet-Marigat road.

On Thursday, aggrieved Pokot residents led by Speaker William Kamket, stormed the police station demanding that the government produce their leader and give them an explanation.

Kamket was with Kolowa MCA Solomon Makal and the county's environment executive Moses Atuk.

"It is the work of the government to protect its citizens. We are wondering why police are silent about this serious matter," he said, adding they were representing the people. "We need a clear report from the security officers immediately.

Last month, Minito was arrested, arraigned and released on Sh1.5 million bond for allegedly planning violence in Laikipia and Baringo during which several people were killed or injured. Livestock were either stolen or killed.

More on this: Pokot bandits burn Laikipia's Mukutan Retreat in revenge on police

Also read: Baringo MCA Minito arrested in Kabarnet over links to Laikipia bandit attacks

But Kamket was on Thursday booked to record a statement at Kabarnet police station over the bandit attacks. He reported to the office of CID officer Festus Malinka.

The Speaker has been accused of brokering illegal guns and ammunition for suspected Pokot bandits to attack the neighbouring Tugen, Ilchamus, Marakwet and Turkana communities.

He denied the claims and was also questioned on Minito's disappearance.

"I was only questioned based on allegations that I procure firearms to my Pokot residents to fight other communities, something I strongly deny," he said, adding he is a lover of peace.

Kamket will vie for the Tiaty MP seat against incumbent Asman Kamama (People's Development Reforms), who has also denied inciting violence.

The Speaker blames Kamama for his endless troubles; he says the MP does not want him to vie in the August 8 election.

Loyamorok MCA Kibet Cheretei and Tiaty MP aspirant Pepe Kitambaa were shot dead by unknown gunmen at a nightclub in Marigat town, Baringo South in February.

Kamama denied links to the killings but Opposition leader Raila Odinga said the two were murdered for political reasons as they would have been the strongest candidates in the poll.

Read more: Cheretei, Kitambaa were assassinated for political reasons, says Raila

Also see: I did not kill Pepe and Cheretei, Tiaty MP Kamama says


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