INVESTIGATIONS UNDERWAY

Elderly guard murdered as thugs steal 102 goats in Athi River

Police on Monday recovered 30 goats from nearby thickets.

In Summary

• Police took the body to Machakos Level 5 Hospital.

• The assailants gained entry into the ranch by destroying the fence. 

A private ranch where thieves murdered a watchman and stole 102 goats in Daystar village, Athi River, Machakos county, on February 16, 2021.
A private ranch where thieves murdered a watchman and stole 102 goats in Daystar village, Athi River, Machakos county, on February 16, 2021.
Image: GEORGE OWITI
A private ranch where thieves murdered a watchman and stole 102 goats in Daystar village, Athi River, Machakos county, on February 16, 2021.
A private ranch where thieves murdered a watchman and stole 102 goats in Daystar village, Athi River, Machakos county, on February 16, 2021.
Image: GEORGE OWITI
A private ranch where thieves murdered a watchman and stole 102 goats in Daystar village, Athi River, Machakos county, on February 16, 2021.
A private ranch where thieves murdered a watchman and stole 102 goats in Daystar village, Athi River, Machakos county, on February 16, 2021.
Image: GEORGE OWITI

A 62-year-old watchman was murdered on Sunday night at a private ranch in Athi River, Machakos county.

The killers then made away with 102 goats, only leaving behind kids. 

Athi River subcounty police commander George Kashimiri on Monday said the guard was hacked to death with a machete in Daystar village. The attackers fled on foot through nearby thickets.

The Star established that the assailants gained entry into the ranch by destroying the fence. By Monday evening, no suspect had been arrested.

The watchman’s body was discovered in a pool of blood on Monday morning by his colleague. He had been cut in the head. Police took the body to Machakos Level 5 Hospital.

“The firm, we understand, is usually guarded by two watchmen at night—the deceased and his colleague who guards a cattle boma. The deceased was in charge of the goats’ section,” Kashimiri told the Star on the phone.

He said the two watchmen spent time together on the night, warming themselves next to a fire in the goats’ section until 11pm.

“They always spend time together warming themselves before they part ways, that was their norm,” the police boss said.

The elderly watchman was attacked and killed hours after they parted ways. The surviving guard never heard any commotion. He had no idea his colleague had been killed and goats stolen until Monday morning when he went to check on him.

“The surviving watchman discovered his colleague’s body after he went to check on him in the morning, he was preparing to milk the cows when he found his colleague dead,” Kashimiri said.

He said it was shocking how the thugs accessed the farm, which is also guarded by more than ten dogs. “We are told the dogs are usually fierce and feared by neighbours. Unfortunately, none of the dogs barked.”

He said police conducted a daylong search and recovered 30 of the 102 stolen goats in nearby thickets.

“We conducted a search from 9.30am to 3pm on Monday and recovered 30 goats. We were just following goats’ feet tracks on foot. We suspect the other goats are still hidden in nearby thickets,” Kashimiri said.

He urged members of the public to be watchful and report to police officers or any other relevant authorities if they come across any goats unattended in their neighbourhoods.

He also urged them to report any person or people seen driving or transporting goats in the region for speedy action.