A four-man gang has struck in Kericho County, leaving the residents living in fear.
Yesterday, they hacked a woman to death, seriously injured her husband and molested the couple's three daughters in Litein, near the border with Bomet.
The thugs entered the house after removing some louvre slats from a window in the living room.
“They hit her on the head with a blunt object then beat up the househelp, leaving her unconscious,” Mr James Mugera, the Kericho County police commander, said.
The mother of six, 73, had been unwell for some time and was on a wheelchair.
They also beat up the husband, seriously injuring him on the head, then robbed him of Sh5,000 and a mobile phone.
The man and the househelp were yesterday fighting for their lives at Litein Mission hospital.
Mr Mugera said the thugs were armed with knives, chisels and iron bars.
They are said to have blindfolded the family before attacking them individually, but spared a nine-year-old boy whom they pushed under a bed and threatened to kill him if he raised the alarm.
In the morning, the boy sought help. Shocked residents jammed the homestead as news of the attack spread. They accused police of failing to deal with the gang, which they claimed had terrorised residents for a long time.
They prevented the police from removing the woman's body as they demanded that Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i and Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet visit the area to tackle crime.
It took the intervention of the family, led by a Mr David Korir, to convince them to let police take the body to the mortuary.
“We are all saddened by the attack, but as a family, we are pleading with you to allow police to do their work. The more the body stays at the scene, the more traumatising it is for us,” he said.
Mr Michael Rono, a villager, said the family had no known enemies in the area and that the couple was highly respected.
Ward representatives Paul Chirchir (Kaposit), Alex Bett (Litein), Hezbon Tonui (Cheplanget) and Evans Kibet (Cheboin) visited the home to condole with the family.
“It’s high time the entire security team in this region was overhauled to stem criminal activities as the officers stand accused of complacency and complicity.
"We cannot sit back and watch as our people are butchered without any serious action being taken by the police,” Mr Chirchir said.
He said the changes should affect all the officers in the sub-county to restore residents’ confidence in the police.
The incident came as memories of an incident in which a couple was brutally murdered by a gang last year were still fresh in villagers’ minds.
During the attack in Chesingoro village, about three kilometres from the scene of the assault, the thugs also spared a child.
Yesterday’s attack came against the backdrop of a rise in rape and defilement cases in Bomet and Kericho counties in the last six months.
A 13-year-old girl is currently admitted at the Longisa County Hospital in Bomet County after she was raped by a 10-man gang. A boda-boda rider has been arrested in connection with the incident.
Meanwhile, a police officer was arrested at the weekend in connection with the defilement of a schoolgirl in Mogogosiek, Konoin Sub-county.
Security officers had been accused of cover-up. In November last year, a 16-year-old girl was raped by a seven-man gang led by a boda-boda rider. Three suspects were arrested while the rest are still at large.