Second victim of Ngongongeri farm attacks dies in hospital

Tuesday March 15 2016

A man stands next to his house which was burnt

A man stands next to his house which was burnt following attacks over land dispute in Ngongongeri, Nakuru. Two people have so far died following the attacks involving the Ogiek and Tugen communities. The latest victim died at Nakuru Level Five Hospital on March 14, 2016 after he was shot with an arrow. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MAGDALENE WANJA
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By ERIC MATARA
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A second victim of the Ngongongeri attacks died on Sunday night while undergoing treatment at the Nakuru Level Five Hospital, it has been revealed.

According to hospital authorities Mr Benson Kiplang’at, who had numerous arrow injuries, collapsed and died minutes after arriving at the hospital.

“The victim collapsed and died on arrival at the facility at around 7pm,” said a nurse who sought anonymity as she is not allowed to speak on behalf of the Hospital.

The deceased had been rushed to the hospital together with his friend Mr Hillary Keitany who is still recuperating at the hospital following the Sunday night retaliation attacks.

The two were shot with arrows by a group of youths said to be on a revenge mission following the killing of their kin earlier in the day.

On Sunday morning Mr Stephen Munyiriri was shot by a civilian gun holder and died on the spot sparking protests from members of his Ogiek community who burnt several houses on Sunday night.

SHOT WITH ARROWS

According to Mr Keitany, a group of youths caught up with them as they walked along the farm and tied them with ropes before shooting them with arrows.

He added that the attackers appeared angered by the day’s incident of the shooting of their kin.

The late Munyiriri was allegedly shot by Mr Kenneth Komen, a licenced gun holder and owner of a parcel of land in the disputed farm as they argued over fencing posts.

Mr Komen, who later presented himself to the police, was Monday charged with murder in the High Court in Nakuru.

Lady Justice Janet Mulwa allowed the application by the prosecution to have the accused remanded at Njoro Police Station pending investigations into the incident.

The accused will again be arraigned in court on March 21, 2016 for further directions.

During the Sunday night retaliation attacks, more than 20 houses were destroyed despite a heavy presence of police.

Mr Justus Kurei, a village elder from the Ogiek community, accused the police of taking sides saying they failed to act when members of the Tugen community destroyed their houses.

He said that all the houses that were destroyed Monday belonged to the Ogiek community only noting that that those destroying the houses were leaving nothing behind.

PEACE MEETING

The Sunday night attacks prompted politicians and leaders from the region to call for a peace meeting at the expansive Ngongongeri farm which was only attended by members of the Ogiek community whose kin was shot dead on Sunday morning.

Among those in attendance were Nakuru Deputy Governor Joseph Ruto, Molo MP Jacob Macharia and Nessuit MCA Samuel Tanui.

The leaders called on the National Land Commission (NLC) to speed up the process of solving conflicts especially those involving ancestral land.

“It is such delays that are causing anxiety among the communities involved as they don’t know the way forward,” said the deputy governor.

While calling upon the communities to observe peace as the matter is being solved, the Molo MP said the National Assembly and NLC should be allowed to deal with the troubling ancestral land matters.

Members of the Ogiek community called on NLC to solve the Ngongongeri stand-off saying it is one of the historical land injustices in the country.

Even as the controversy surrounding the 26,000 acres Ngongongeri land rages on, details have also emerged of influential people owning huge chunks of the disputed land which, it is alleged, they were allocated by the Kanu regime.