Tension high after herders kill man and injure wife as locals plan revenge attacks
Tension is building up in parts of Kitui East after a man was killed on Friday night and his wife severely injured by suspected Somali herders.
The deceased, Kisangi Mulang’a and his wife Katheu were attacked by the machete brandishing gang at their home in Muthungwe village.
The late night attack left them with ghastly machete wounds where the man succumbed to the injuries soon after. He had machete wounds on his head and feet. His wife is recuperating at the Kitui Level IV Hospital. There are reports that the local community is planning a revenge attack on the herders who have already crossed over to Kitui County with hundreds of their animals.
The area assistant chief confirmed that the couple was attacked by a gang of five “Somali boys” armed with machetes and clubs who after committing the attack, escaped. The chief warned the local community against retaliating to avert a bloody clash as the suspects were said to be heavily armed.
Benson Wasike, County Administration Police Commander said that Mutito Sub-county security team is already on the ground looking for the bandits.
“Our team is pursuing them. We are determined to get them even if they have crossed the border,” Mr Wasike said.
The herders, mostly from Tana River and Garissa counties often clash with the local community over pasture and water resources but cross back to their counties after committing crimes.
Kitui East MP Nimrod Mbai described the latest attack as callous and called on the local security team to weed out the armed pastoralists. "We can negotiate over camels invading our farms but not when they kill and attack innocent mothers. They must leave," Mbai said.
Three weeks ago, the MP re-launched Nziu Ranch as a way of addressing the perennial banditry attacks along the porous border. The once vibrant ranching cooperative society collapsed in the 80s due to mismanagement.
The revival of the ranch, straddling about 100 square kilometres, heralds new hope for the local community that has for long engaged in a vicious conflict with their neighbours from Tana River and Garissa counties.
"We have agreed to revive the ranch to ensure heartless bandits who cross over to kill our people under the guise of grazing are kept at bay. This is now a restricted area and if they are found here without necessary permits they will be arrested and prosecuted,” Mbai said.