• Kisoi was among the eight GSU officers, a chief and two civilians ambushed and killed.
• He is survived by four young children and a jobless 32-year-old widow, IvyChesang.
A family at Kuikui in Baringo North is mourning their son among the eight GSU officers and three others killed by Pokot bandits in Napeitom, Turkana East, on Saturday.
John Kisoi, 35, was a father and the sole breadwinner for his four young children and his jobless 32-year-old widow, Ivy Chesang.
“He was the only person the entire family relied upon," his cousin Paul Cherutoi, known as Mukunji, said on Tuesday.
"Now losing him is like a whole tree has fallen down," he aid.
Kisoi was among the eight GSU officers, a local chief and two civilians who were killed in an ambush at Namariat village in Napeitom ward, near Kapedo in Turkana East on Saturday.
They were on a peace caravan. Two other people sustained serious injuries.
“We were eagerly waiting for him to arrive home either this week or early next month but instead, we shall sadly receive the young man in his casket for burial,” he said.
He said Kisoi was a total orphan after losing his parents, father and mother, some years ago.
“So he is the only person being looked upon by the family as the overall head, organiser and provider,” he said.
On Tuesday, some family members had travelled to Nairobi’s Chiromo Mortuary to identify the body of their son. The burial is scheduled for October 9.
Cousin Cherutoi said residents of Kerio Valley are tired of mourning the deaths of banditry victims, urging the government to intervene, disarm and flush out bandits.
“These notorious Pokot bandits should be identified and transported to a no-man’s land so people can live and do their economic activities peacefully,” he said.
Joshua Chepkeitany criticised the previous government’s frequent orders for security operations and curfews, saying none bore any fruit.
“We are optimistic President William Ruto shall be truthful to his promises and put in place measures to clear out banditry once and for all,” Chepkeitany said.
He called upon the government to consider comprehensive compensation for the families of the security officers who died in line of duty.
“I pity the officers who put their lives in the line while earning a paltry Sh20,000 as their monthly salary, Then, if they lose their lives on duty, their families are left to suffer in abject poverty forever,” Chepkeitany said.
He said before discussing peace or starting projects, the government should first confiscate guns from civilians. “You will never make peace with someone holding a weapon," he said.
Kabosgei Kerio location chief Felix Cherutoi condoled with the family, saying a number of lives have been lost due to heightened banditry in the Kerio Valley.
“Families have also been impoverished after they lost all their livestock, their main livelihoods, to bandits,” Cherutoi said.
Baringo North MP Joseph Makilap urged the government to be firm on ending banditry.
“For how long shall we continue losing the lives of our dear ones before the government brings the matter to a halt?” Makilap asked.
Residents proposed Makilap should be included in the National Assembly Security committee to champion their issues, “because he is in touch and he has the knowledge of what we are going though,” Chepkeitany said.
(Edited by V. Graham)