Police have now zeroed in on three politicians in connection with the killings that have rocked Matungu in Kakamega County over the past one month.
The three politicians are suspected to be behind the killings that have left 13 people dead and several others nursing serious injuries.
Kakamega County Commissioner Abdulrizak Jaldesa said the politicians are suspected to be in charge of criminal gangs that have terrorised the constituency and instilled fear in the residents.
Speaking after holding a security meeting with stakeholders, Mr Jaldesa, who declined to identify the politicians, said a special team of investigators has been established to probe them.
MENTIONED IN KILLINGS
The meeting brought together security officials from the county, politicians, religious leaders, youth leaders, women leaders and leaders of bodaboda groups.
“We cannot name them now because this will jeopardise our investigations but we have sufficient information to hold the three politicians who are residents of this county to task because whenever we go, their names are [mentioned in connection] to the killings,” said Mr Jaldesa.
According to the county administrator, the politicians are misusing young people by giving them money and fuelling their motorcycles so that they cause mayhem, adding that the politicians are doing so due to political rivalry.
He said investigations have revealed that the politicians want to instil fear in the residents before 2022 so that they capitalise on the killings to outdo their rivals.
The county commissioner noted that the young people have faked their identities and adopted names used by hard-core criminals in big cities like 14 and 42 brothers.
“They have taken advantage of the biting poverty in the region after the collapse of Mumias Sugar Company and are giving the young people money to kill each other. We shall not allow this to go on anymore,” said Mr Jaldesa.
The leaders at the meeting agreed to work together through sharing of information that will make the killings a thing of the past.
After the initial killings, five other people were killed in a revenge attack by irate members of the public while two suspects were shot dead by the police.
“Those killed by either the police or the mob in revenge were on the list of security officers as criminals. Even though the government doesn’t condone mob injustice, we have experienced sporadic reactions from enraged members of the public who have killed five suspects,” Mr Jaldesa said.
The latest victim was Petronilla Mung’ai, a pregnant woman from Sayangwe village who was killed alongside her two-year-old daughter.
Matungu MP Justus Murunga said two acres of land will be purchased using NG-CDF money to build a modern police station in the area.
He asked the security forces to expand their investigations and act tough on the suspected politicians, saying it is wrong for leaders to use the poor youth who are idle to kill other people for the sake of seeking political mileage.
The meeting was attended by three members of the county assembly Boniface Osanga (Khalaba), Harrison Shikuku (Koyonzo) and George Mukodo (Namamali).
Mr Jaldesa said the ban on night vigils, popularly known as "disco matanga", is still on, noting that three of those killed were secondary school students who had attended one such event.
He said police have increased night patrols across the five wards.