Tension is high at the troubled Chesegon area, along the West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet border point after three people were on Saturday evening gunned down by suspected bandits from the neighboring community in fresh attacks. The three were shot dead at Cheptulel area Chesegon division half kilometer from Marakwet East border, West Pokot county. Confirming the killings, West Pokot county police Commander Mr Jackson Tumwet said that about 1545 hrs on Saturday evening the three who were riding on a motorcycle from Lomut market heading to Sokouto area were gunned down by bandits believed to be from Marakwet East. He said bandits crossed over to Pokot side and shot three who were from their daily duties heading home. “Security personnel from Sigor and Lomut have accessed the scene and removed the victims who suffered fatal injuries,”said Mr Tumwet.
Mr James Kapeyon Cheptulel location area chief said the bandit’s gunned down the three and stole their mobile phones. “The bodies have been removed to Kapenguria county referral mortuary. There is a lot of tension and people are living in fear.” He said. Area leaders led by Sigor member of Parliament Mr Peter Lochakapong have condemned the incident saying the security situation was getting out of hand. Mr Lochakapong wondered why bandits from West Pokot,Elgeyo Marakwet and Tiaty have not been arrested despite residents unmasking them . ‘The Government has a plan to leave us the problem.If the security docket is unable to take action, let us know so that we know how to protect ourselves .If residents have named the perpetrators why don’t you arrest them. The Government has failed.The bandits will be wiped out from the community,”he said. He noted the bandits who are killing people are well known and action should be taken .
‘We want to see them arrested, dead or alive,”said Mr Lochakapong. Mr Lochakapong called on residents not to retaliate . “We only have a few criminals who want to destabilize peace in the region.,”he said. Mr Lochakapong called on the security apparatus to make sure the perpetrators are nabbed and brought to book. “We want action taken.Last three months, we gave out a list of shame of criminals terrorizing residents from both communities .The Police should act ,”said Mr Lochakapong. Pokot Central deputy county commissioner Mr Simiyu Were said police officers have been deployed in the area to reduce tension. Close to thirty people have been killed, residents displaced and property destroyed and hundreds of livestock stolen in Kerio valley along the border of the three counties since the year started. This has derailed development, caused displacement; learning paralyzed in schools and infringed fear among locals who have migrated from the area. Last month, Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i, Inspector general of police Hillary Mutiambayi and Rift valley regional coordinator Mr George Natembeya visited Kerio valley region at Tot and gave a seven days ultimatum to bandits to surrender to the police.