Two Pokot herders injured in fresh Kapedo attack

Suspected bandits steal 4,000 goats, 300 cows and 70 camels

In Summary

• MCA accuses security forces of laxity, question why 17 Pokot NPRs were sent home before the attack. 

• Baringo administrator, police deny knowledge of the attack; MCAs alleges conspiracy to share loot with bandits. 

Pokot herders armed with swords and sticks during a function at Riongo in Tiaty, Baringo county on August 27
INSECURE BORDER: Pokot herders armed with swords and sticks during a function at Riongo in Tiaty, Baringo county on August 27
Image: JOSEPH KANGOGO

Two Pokot herders were injured and more than 4,000 animals stolen in a fresh Kapedo bandit attack along the Baringo-Turkana border on Tuesday.

Suspected armed bandits reportedly raided Atirir and Chepkilowon villages in Tirioko, Tiaty subcounty of Baringo. They made away with 4,000 goats, 300 cows and 70 camels belonging to six families. 

“During the 10am attack, the bandits shot and injured two Pokot herders. All the stolen livestock is yet to be recovered,” Tirioko MCA Sam Lokales said.

 

The MCA accused security agencies from both counties of laxity, saying they had been informed early of the incidents “but there was no response”. 

Lokales, who is the assembly minority leader, said there was a fierce shootout before the bandits, armed with AK-47 rifles, “overpowered our Pokot youths who were then herding while holding mere harmless sticks”. 

He was backed by deputy speaker Ameja Zelemoi (Churo-Amaya), Nelson Lotela (Silale) and Shedrack Mailuk (Tangulbei-Korossi). 

Zelemoi said the bandits drove the animals towards Kamuge, Lomelo, Napeitom in the neighbouring Turkana East. 

He said that was the fifth attack since August.

Lotela cited last week’s incident where bandits shot a 12-year old boy in the same area and made away with 50 camels. 

“We cannot sit back and watch as our people robbed of their only source of livelihood,” Lotela said.

 

Baringo county commissioner Henry Wafula and police commander Robinson Ndiwa said they were not aware of any bandit attack in Kapedo.

“I have said many times I will never believe or respond to the skewed information given by the local politicians, especially MCAs,” Wafula said.

He asked why the 17 Pokot National Police Reservists in Kapedo were sent home prior to the attack, alleging it to be a scheme by government officials to share the looted animals with the bandits. 

The MCAs blamed unresolved boundary disputes between the warring Pokot and Turkana pastoral communities for the persistent Kapedo attacks. 

Theyappealed to Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i to intervene and address the clashes on the disputed border. 

Edited by R.Wamochie