• Matungu most affected after losing more than 10 people in a month.
• County commissioner says government has increased police patrols in affected areas.
The government has profiled members of a suspected criminal gang calling itself the 42 Brothers that has been blamed for killings in Kakamega county.
The gang has been accused of killing over 20 people in Butere, Khwisero and Matungu subcounties.
“We have profiled members of the gang and are in pursuit of them. The gang is sleepy and inactive but its members can easily be used by people after others’ lives,” said Kakamega county commissioner Abdirazak Jaldesa.
Police had earlier denied existence of the gang and attributed the spiraling insecurity to normal crime.
The administrator yesterday said Matungu is the most affected by the insecurity after losing over 10 people in a month.
A gang of four armed with machetes and blunt objects attacked and killed a woman and her three-year-old daughter on Saturday in the latest attack.
Yesterday, Jaldesa did not attribute the attack on the infamous 42 Brothers but to disputes and revenge among residents.
The commissioner said that the government has increased police patrols in the affected region to tame rising insecurity. Two weeks ago, police shot and killed two criminals and recovered a gun and rounds of ammunition.
Jaldesa said security has been beefed up including replacement of some officers whom the public accused of alleged collusion with criminals.
“We have transferred all officers at the Ejinja AP camp as well as moving the Matungu OCS in an attempt to arrest the situation,” he said.
The gang has been accused of the death of several people including six watchmen killed at Kilingili market on the border of Emuhaya and Sabatia constituencies early March.
The group had earlier been linked to the death of 12 people in October last year and maiming of over 40 others in Butere, Khwisero, Mumias East, Mumias West and Matungu subcounties.
The gang is said to have operated in Kisumu before relocating to Western and reportedly comprises youth aged between 15 and 25 years.
On Saturday, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Matungu MP Justus Murunga visited the scene of the attack and demanded immediate arrest and prosecution of the gang members.
Oparanya and Murunga demanded that all police officers in Matungu subcounty be transferred immediately for laxity.
Yesterday, Jaldesa said two suspects had been arrested and were assisting police with investigations.