- The OCPD said the deceased was accompanied by a colleague, who went inside the Mwingi Game Reserve after the herders called him to go buy goats.
- The killing happened a day after a man in Mandongoi area of Ngomeni ward escaped death after being stabbed in the neck by camel herders.
A middle-aged cattle seller is believed to have been hacked to death by three camel herders on Monday evening in Mwingi.
Confirming the incident, Tseikuru OCPD Charles Kibathi said it was unfortunate that the incident happened, adding that he has beefed up security in the area.
Kibathi said the deceased, Joseph Mati, 39 years, was accompanied by a colleague, Muimi Mwali, who went inside the Mwingi Game Reserve after the herders called him to go buy goats from them at around 6pm on Monday.
“He met three men of Somali origin who were supposed to sell the goats to them but instead attacked them, inflicting serious injuries on the deceased’s head and chopped off his hand. He died on the spot," he said.
Muimi escaped death by a whisker but with three deep cuts.
The OCPD said no one has been arrested yet but is following up on the case to get more links to track the last person the deceased communicated with.
“There's tension in the area, but we have ensured security is beefed up," he said
Kibathi said the reason the trader was murdered had nothing to do with the camel invasion, but might have been a deal gone sour, or they wanted to steal from him because no money was found on his lifeless body.
He also said only a few stray camels had been left in the area, adding that most of the camels have been herded back following the Eastern regional commissioner’s directive three weeks ago.
The MCA Kimanzi Muange wondered why residents are dying in their land.
"We do not understand why there's no action taken against these herders. Is the law favouring one side?" Muange asked, even as he urged the government to act against perpetrators.
Muange said several residents had lost lives in such a manner, and nothing has been done so far.
"Are camels more important than the lives of our people? Why was the cattle seller killed? This is too much," he said.
The killing happened a day after a man in Mandongoi area of Ngomeni ward escaped death after being stabbed in the neck by camel herders.
Residents said that children have stopped going to school. Other have fled their homes and now spend cold nights in bushes for fear of being attacked.
Kyuso OCPD Nicholas Mutua said he had deployed 100 police officers to ensure all the camel herders are driven back to the Tana River-Kitui border.
Mutua said his officers found more than 1,000 camels and 2,000 goats and were on a mission to drive them away from Kitui county.
" I assure residents of safety and that they should go back to their homes as I have deployed police officers from Mumoni, Mwingi Central, Mwingi East [and] Tseikuru, among other areas, to ensure normalcy resumes," he said.
(edited by Amol Awuor)