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January 16, 2019

Curfew hurting education, trade in Mt Elgon — Waluke

Sirisia MP John Waluke during a past event in Bungoma /FILE
Sirisia MP John Waluke during a past event in Bungoma /FILE

Sirisia MP John Waluke wants a dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed in Mt Elgon lifted as it is affecting business and education.

He said the key suspects behind killings in the area — Timothy Kitai alias Cheparkach and his brother Cleophas Ngeywo — are in police custody. Cheparkach surrendered to the police in Eldoret town on May 14, while his brother, who is said to be the deputy, turned himself in Kericho a week later.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i imposed a 90-day curfew on March 6 and later extended it for a month.

Waluke said a majority towns in Bungoma depend on farm produce from Mt Elgon and the curfew is hurting them. He spoke to the press in Matili, Kimilili, on Friday.

The MP said accomplices of the suspects are now hiding in Sirisia, Kimilili, Kanduyi, Webuye and Bumula.

“The curfew should be lifted to allow people to carry on with their businesses and farming,” Waluke said.

“People are suffering. Their source of livelihood is being destroyed because of limited movements. Security officers in the operation to flush out criminals in Mt Eldon are high-handed.”

On June 7, angry residents of Cheptais market demonstrated against security officers sent to the region. They accused them of harassment and using excessive force.

Political activist Amos Chemabus said extending the curfew was against their rights.

“These officers are attacking anyone. We will not accept to be tortured. The key suspects have been charged in court. Let police arrest their financiers,” he said.

Cheparkach and Ngeywo were charged in a Bungoma court on May 31 following a spate of criminal activities.

The duo was charged with more than 100 counts of murder, rape and robbery with violence. They denied the accusations before Bungoma principal magistrate Gabriel Omondi.

The prosecution had requested the court to deny them bail because they had skipped court in 2015 in a case that was later terminated.

The suspects are detained in police custody as they wait for the hearing of their case on July 3.

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