Farm manager killed in hail of bullets

Saturday December 4 2010

By GEORGE SAYAGIE

A manager of a farm in belonging to the family of late Mbiyu Koinange was shot dead by a gunman near Nakuru town on Friday.

Mr Moses ole Mpoe, the manager of Muthera farm in Mau Narok division of Nakuru Country, died on the spot together with his passenger after a gunman riding in a motorcycle fired about 10 bullets at their vehicle.

A third passenger said to be Mr Mpoe’s brother was critically injured during the Friday night incident. He was rushed to the Rift Valley Provincial hospital in Nakuru with bullet wounds.

This is the same style gunmen used to kill two traffic officers in Nairobi on the same day. The United States' Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) have been called in to reinforce Kenyan policemen in the investigations.

In Mr Mpoe’s case, the attack occurred as several motorists watched in dismay. The motorists – majority of who were coming from a graduation ceremony at Egerton University - were all caught in a traffic jam.

“It was around 7 pm and we saw a motorcycle carrying a passenger. It was trying to overtake other vehicles trapped in the traffic jam. Then the passenger got off from his seat, walked to the driver’s widow before brandishing an AK-47. He then sprayed bullets,” a kiosk operator along the road who witnessed the incident said.

Covered Faces

He explained that after the attack, the assailant together with his colleague rode towards Nakuru town.

The two, according to the kiosk operator, had covered their faces.

Police led by the Nakuru divisional police commander Johnston Ipara and his CID counterpart Abdi Salat rushed to the scene shortly after the incident.
While at the scene, Mr Ipara declined to comment on the killing saying it’s a very "sensitive matter" that needs to be investigated first before issuing a statement.

“Please gentlemen the matter is very sensitive and I am not going to issue any statement now until we have established some facts,” he said.

Mr Mpoe was among the Maasai leaders who were opposing a move by the government to resettle 912 families of 2007 polls chaos victims at a controversial 2,400 acres in Mau Narok division.

The government bought the land recently to resettle families currently living in the transitional camps of the internally displaced persons.

The land is at the boundary of Molo and Narok North constituencies.

However, Mr Mpoe’s death was also being linked to controversies surrounding Muthera farm where he has been its manager for the last 10 years.

The farm has been at the centre of a storm that saw Mr Mpoe lose his job recently before being reinstated.

Additional reporting by Muchemi Wachira