Armed Bandits have defied government warnings and killed two girls from same family in Kotut, Endo ward of Marakwet East Constituency before stealing 70 heads of cattle.
The incident which took place on Sunday at 10 am came just a day after Elgeyo Marakwet governor Wesley Rotich launched a fresh drive to improve security in the county by providing drones to the police to help them in their patrols.
Locals say the stolen cattle were driven towards Tiaty Constituency.
The deceased girls are students at Kobulwo Secondary School (Form 3) and Kabetwa Primary (class 7).
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“While I share my condolences to the families affected, I call upon all security organs to ensure perpetrators are brought to book and all stolen livestock recovered,” say Governor Rotich in a statement following the incident.
The attack happened as area leaders including Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen were congregating at Kapsait for annual peace prayers between Pokot and Marakwet communities.
“It’s sad and disheartening that as we prayed for long lasting peace among our communities we lost the lives of two innocent girls at Ketut, Endo Ward,” said governor Rotich.
Interestingly the new attack took place just weeks after President William Ruto and Interior Cabinet Secretary Prof Kithure Kindiki issued a stern warning to bandits in the area saying they will hunt them down using all means necessary.
President Ruto further warned that the government will pursue financiers and beneficiaries of the cattle rustling menace which has led to deaths and mass displacement of hundreds of citizens.
“I know those who run the cattle rustling schemes are watching me now. I am warning you against trying my temper. Mtajua hamjui (You will face my full wrath),” warned the president while distributing food in Turkana on Saturday, November 2
“We are tired of our people dying and students dropping from school. Don’t play around with our temper. We will bring an end to cattle rustling with whatever it takes. Even if it means bringing in the military to take care of this problem,” said Ruto
He cited Turkana, Samburu, Pokot and Baringo as areas flagged for bandit attacks.
“If you try me, you will know who I am. Let them not try me!” Dared Ruto.