Displaced residents of Mukutani in Baringo south inside a lorry at Mukutani trading center ready to be evacuated to Eldume primary school in Marigat after Suspected Pokot bandits attacked the village killing 9 people,injuring three and burning several houses .PHOTO:KIPSANG JOSEPH
Four Administration Police officers were injured in Mukutani when they were ambushed by suspected Pokot bandits.
The officers, according to County Commissioner Peter Okwanyo, were in the company of 12 others heading back to their base in Mukutani after escorting 11 members of the Ilchamus community to Marigat.
Mr Okwanyo said the officers were fired at by the suspected bandits who had laid an ambush despite the presence of an armoured personnel carrier (APC), which was part of the escort.
“At about 1230hrs, an Administration Police lorry was ambushed on its way back to the Mukutani operational camp after escorting 11 members of Ilchamus. The lorry was being escorted by an APC when it was fired upon and the officers responded without stopping,” he said.
Okwanyo said the injured were airlifted to Nairobi. Harrison Rotich was shot in both legs, Geoffrey Wagi in the right thigh, Daniel Muli in the left foot and Luka Mugambi in the right knee.
“On board were 16 officers. The injured four were airlifted to Nairobi and are in stable condition.”
The ambush occurred near the area where the bandits killed 11 people in a revenge attack last Tuesday, when two women were killed by Ilchamus morans. Residents have since fled the area and are being sheltered in schools and churches in Eldume.
The attack occurred on the day when the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) set foot in the region following President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive on Friday to have them deployed to Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot and Laikipia counties to help police restore order.
Two weeks ago, Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery gazetted 26 areas in Laikipia and Baringo counties as disturbed and dangerous.
And last Friday, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet further gazetted the areas as a no-arms zone in a special notice.
In Baringo, 19 locations have been affected by the order. They include Arabal, Kiserian, Mochongoi, Rugus, Mukutani, Chebinyiny, Komolion, Chepkalacha and Makutano.
Others are Paka, Orus, Loiywat, Silale, Nando, Tungulbei, Chepkererat, Kipnai, Ng’oron and Amaya, all in Tiaty constituency.
In Laikipia, the whole of Rumuruti, Ol Moran and Kirimon divisions have been affected.
Other areas include Mithiga and Matuiku locations in Ng’arua division, Salama location in Marmanet, Segera location and Mukogodo East division.
“Upon publication of this notice, all persons and inhabitants are ordered to surrender all arms in their possession with immediate effect to the nearest police station/camp or administrative office during the hours of the day for safe custody,” read the notice.
Meanwhile, illegal grazers in Laikipia continued to destroy property on private ranches despite the deployment of KDF soldiers and more police officers over the weekend.
At Sosian Ranch, where the herders killed Tristan Voorspuy, one of the directors, two weeks ago, attacks continued over the weekend.
Another director, Richard Constant, told The Standard yesterday that on Saturday, the herders destroyed water pipes and boreholes on the 22,000-acre ranch as well as the neighbouring Suiyan and Ol Maisor ranches.
He said so far, they had not been able to access some of the cottages on the farm because the armed herders had stayed put despite a heavy police presence.
“I have not been able to access my cottage where Mr Tristan was killed. We hope the military will help push the herders away,” he said.