Two houses were Monday evening torched at Ikorongo, Nyaribari Masaba Sub-County in Kisii County after fighting broke out between the Kisii and Kipsigis communities.
The skirmishes were sparked off by an alleged theft of four cows belonging to a woman whom police only identified as Alice.
Kisii County Police Commandant Ms Agnes Mudambah said that the cows were stolen on Sunday night, leading to a build-up of tension in the area.
However, she said that police officers were not informed of the theft until Monday evening.
"We were not informed of the theft until last evening. It is only after my officers arrived at the scene that we were told about the theft of the woman's cows," she said.
CHANTED WAR CRIES
The police boss said that the two sides engaged in a bout of screaming and chanted war cries as law enforcement officers from the region sought to calm them down.
"Our officers formed a buffer zone between the [conflicting] sides as armed youth from the two communities screamed and chanted war cries," said Ms Mudambah.
"While officers were patrolling the expansive area to ensure that no fighting broke out between them, some youth took advantage of the confusion and torched two houses belonging to the Gusii community," she told the Nation.co.ke.
Ms Mudambah said that no casualties were reported during the hostilities.
She said that she had sought for reinforcement from the Masaba Administration Police camp and the Masimba Police Station.
The police boss expressed confidence in the security forces' capacity to contain the situation, saying that they were sufficiently prepared for it.
"Our officers are well positioned on the ground to prevent any outbreak of violence. So far the situation is under control," she said.
The area has long been a conflict zone as the two communities often clash over cattle rustling incidents.