County officers from Nyamira and Kisii fight over revenue collection

Trouble started soon after the Kisii County revenue collectors accused their Nyamira counterparts of trespassing onto their grounds.

Thursday January 14 2016

Keroka Town. Kisii and Nyamira County revenue collection workers on January 14, 2015 fought over the Keroka town market boundary, after the two groups disagreed over their areas of operation. FILE PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Keroka Town. Revenue collection workers from Kisii and Nyamira counties on January 14, 2015 fought over the Keroka Town market boundary, after the two groups disagreed over their areas of operation. FILE PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By AGGREY OMBOKI
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Revenue collection workers from Kisii and Nyamira counties on Thursday fought over the Keroka town market boundary, after the two groups disagreed over their areas of operation.

Trouble started soon after the Kisii County workers accused their Nyamira counterparts of trespassing onto their grounds.

However, the Nyamira County officers insisted on collecting revenue from the market traders, prompting a scuffle that turned violent, bringing activities at the market to a standstill.

However, police officers from the nearby Keroka station moved to the scene and quelled the violence.

Area OCPD Patterson Maelo confirmed the incident had occurred due to a disagreement between the revenue officers.

"We responded to the chaos on time to restore calm to the town. No one was injured during the afternoon incident," he said.

Some traders, however, claimed that one Kisii County enforcement officer was injured after being struck by a flying stone in the chaos.

Mr Maelo said that an MCA - Mr Francis Aburi - had been asked to record a statement concerning the incident.

Nyaribari Masaba MP Elijah Moindi said he was not aware of what had happened.

"I have not been briefed on what has happened," he said.

Mr Moindi claimed there was no dispute over the market boundary.

"The violence was done by goons who just wanted to take advantage of the situation to cause chaos," he said.

Kitutu Chache MP Timothy Bosire said the controversy was a management issue.

"There is no conflict and therefore no cause for alarm," he said.

A number of Kisii MCAs, led by Mr Wilfred Monyenye and Mr Samwel Apoko, accompanied Mr Aburi to the station, where they were holed up in the CID office for close to four hours until 6pm.

Some traders complained about the delay in releasing Mr Aburi from the station, saying the police were biased in questioning just one leader.

"The officers should have questioned the other leaders from Nyamira who were inciting their constituents," Mr Sanganyi said.

Traders at the market complained of harassment by the Nyamira County officers, who, they said, were intent on evicting small traders from the town.

Mr Maelo said that Mr Aburi was being questioned in connection with the stone-throwing incident.

He said the MCA was not under arrest but was required to clarify his exact role in the incident.