Opposition leader Raila Odinga has asked police to get to the bottom of the killings in Matungu, Kakamega County, and bring the murders to an end as police held a preacher over alleged involvement in the crime Sunday.
The cleric was arrested after he was linked to the bizarre murders by a criminal gang in Matungu Constituency that have claimed more than 14 lives.
Matungu OCPD John Matsili confirmed the arrest and clarified that the cleric was apprehended following alarming information he had posted on social media.
“We arrested the bishop on Friday and the CID officers are interrogating him. If found culpable, he will be taken to court for posting alarming information on a WhatsApp group. If he will be found without any mistake, then he will be released,” Mr Matsili said.
Mr Odinga said it was disheartening that the killer gangs were not sparing women and children.
He spoke as Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya called for the local intelligence network to help in the investigations.
Mr Oparanya said: “If you bring foreigners, the locals will not give information hence the need to use locals to get the information.”
Mr Odinga, while speaking at Shibuye Village in Shinyalu Constituency during the burial of Julius Atsango, brother of Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito, said: “We’ve been asking ourselves where the security agencies have gone to as murderers kill innocent people.
“Why should they allow so many people to be killed without putting the situation under control?” he posed.
The ODM leader asked the police to conduct serious investigations and get the assailants to face the full force of the law.
Mr Oparanya said that even though he was not a security expert, there was need for deployment of local intelligence officers to help in the investigations.
“Most policemen were transferred and now there are a few security officers there,” the governor said, adding, Nyumba Kumi should be involved and those giving information protected.”
“There’s fear by locals that if you give information about the attackers they’ll come and kill you, so there should be an assurance of protection of those who give sensitive information,” he said.
The brutal attacks have left deep scars in the lives of families caught up in the mayhem unleashed by the 42 Brothers and the 14 Brothers criminal gangs in the last two months.
Twenty-one people have been killed by the gangs in Matungu while two suspects were shot dead by police and five others beaten to death and their bodies set on fire by boda boda riders.
The stabbing of seven-year-old Malik Wamukoya Murunga, a Grade One pupil at Bulimbo Star Academy six days ago, laid bare the brutal and vicious manner the criminal gangs have snuffed out the lives of their victims.
Malik was playing at home in Panyako Village, Kholera Sub-location when the attackers struck. His parents had gone to pray in a nearby mosque. The attackers stabbed him in the neck and stomach.
A search by neighbours found the boy lying limp on the floor in a house still under construction. He had been badly injured and died as he was being rushed to Kakamega referral hospital.
His mother Miriam Kaluki was inconsolable when she saw her son lying lifeless on the floor: “Why would anyone want to harm such an innocent boy in such a manner.”
In Sayangwe Village, Ejinja sub-location in Matungu, the killer gang hacked to death a pregnant woman and her three-year-old daughter two weeks ago.
Petronilla Mung’ayi Rapachi, 26, and Baby Shaline Okhasia, were killed by the gang while her husband, Mr Stephen Rapachi, and their eight-year-old daughter sustained serious injuries.
Their second-born child, who had slept with her stepmother, escaped the attack.
Mr Rapachi and his surviving daughter had been admitted to Kakamega referral hospital where their condition stabilised before he was informed of his kin’s death ahead of the burial.
Another bizarre killing happened in Simba Wanyika Village on March 30. A trader, Yusuf Shiundu, 30, and his wife, Shiro Wanjiku, 18, were hacked to death in their homes.
The killers dumped the trader’s body next to Kholera bridge along the Bungoma-Mumias road, while his pregnant wife was found lying in a pool of blood in their house.