PROBE ONGOING

Police arrest five over torching of houses, cane in Transmara

Suspects are helping the police with investigations as they await arraignment

In Summary

• Transmara West subcounty deputy commissioner Mohammed Hassan Noor told the Star the five are key suspects in the attacks.

• “The suspects are helping the police with investigations and once completed they will appear before a court of law,” Noor said.

Security officers assess damage on a sugar cane farm belonging to businesswoman Victoria Sompisha which was destroyed by fire at Entontol area, Transmara West subcounty on Thursday.
Security officers assess damage on a sugar cane farm belonging to businesswoman Victoria Sompisha which was destroyed by fire at Entontol area, Transmara West subcounty on Thursday.
Image: KIPLANG'AT KIRUI

Police in Transmara West have arrested five people in connection with arson attacks on two houses and destruction of 40 acres of sugar cane in Nkararo-Enooretet border last week.

Transmara West subcounty deputy commissioner Mohammed Hassan Noor told the Star the five are key suspects in the attacks.

“The suspects are helping the police with investigations and once completed they will appear before a court of law,” Noor said.

Tension was high in the area following the destruction of the sugar cane farms belonging to prominent farmer Davis Dikirr and businesswoman Victoria Sompisha and the two houses. 

The Siria and Uasin Gishu clans of the Maasai community in Narok county have had a long-standing dispute over the Nkararo-Enooretet boundary.

The arrests come three days after Narok county commissioner Evans Achoki ordered the two clans to hand over the perpetrators of the arson attacks. He said the culprits were in their midst and needed to face the law.

“These criminals should be stopped by all means because we don’t want few individuals to destroy people's properties and use the issue as a way of comprising peace," Achoki said.

Kenya National Federation of Sugarcane Farmers Narok Branch chair Stephen Narupa decried the destruction of cane farms. He urged Transmara Sugar Company to treat the two individuals as a special case and accept the charred cane.

“These acts are purely criminal elements and those behind them should be arrested and charged before the court for causing destruction,” Narupa said. 

“The management of the company should not consider it as bad cane because the two individuals have struggled in the growing of the crop.”

Transmara West subcounty deputy commissioner Mohammed Hassan Noor with Narok county commissioner Evans Achoki assess the damage on sugar cane farm belonging to businesswoman Victoria Sompisha which was destroyed by fire at Entoltol area on Thursday.
Transmara West subcounty deputy commissioner Mohammed Hassan Noor with Narok county commissioner Evans Achoki assess the damage on sugar cane farm belonging to businesswoman Victoria Sompisha which was destroyed by fire at Entoltol area on Thursday.
Image: KIPLANG'AT KIRUI

Carolyne Nangea, a local leader, said the two communities have been living in peace for a long time and they will not allow few individuals to divide them along tribal lines.

“The move by these criminals is to ensure that there is animosity among these two clans and the locals should be careful not fall into traps of those who are not happy when peace triumphs,” she said.

The security agencies in the subcounty led by Noor have been holding peace meetings with the two clans to end the hostilities.

In May 2020, two warring Maasai clans surrendered 14 illegal guns, 77 rounds of ammunition to the government as part of measures to maintain peace. Siria gave eight firearms while Uasin Gishu returned six guns. They presented the guns on different occasions to the deputy county commissioner.

More than 100 firearms have been surrendered over the last two years in the Esoit border within the subcounty.