At least 28 houses have been burnt down in Kaloleni Estate, Kisumu County, by a group of suspected boda boda operators in search of motorcycle thieves.
The group conducted a door to door operation Sunday morning to flush out the thieves after accusing the residents of harbouring them.
Trouble begun at around 1am after three motorcycles were burnt by people whom the riders claimed were part of the thieving gang.
Prior to the incident, the riders said that one of their colleague had dropped a customer in the estate but refused to pay Sh100 for the service.
Aggrieved, the rider sought assistance from two of his colleagues but when they returned they were ambushed by about five men; who beat them and set their motorbikes ablaze.
Consequently, their colleagues launched the operation that saw several houses set ablaze with property of unknown value destroyed.
A fire engine that had gone to extinguish the fire was turned away by the riders.
“Three motorcycles belonging to our colleagues were burnt here and we have information that the suspects were behind it. We are stopping at nothing until we find them,” one of the riders said.
Speaking to the Nation, the residents denied housing them, saying the attack was politically motivated.
They faulted the police for failing to protect them.
“It is not true that we have the suspects among us. We suspect this has been politically motivated because after the general election in August, we received threats of dire consequences over politics,” a resident who did not wish to be named said.
She went on: “The police have failed to protect us, they are just watching us [as] our homes are being burnt and our property destroyed.”
Kisumu Commander Titus Yoma said that they have launched investigations into the matter.
“The police are on with the investigation and we shall arrest those guilty of burning the motorcycles and the houses,” he said.
The group conducted a door to door operation Sunday morning to flush out the thieves.