Armed bandits have unleashed terror in Mutha Ward, Kitui South, beheading a man and seriously injuring three people.
Tension is high in the area and more than a dozen families have fled their homes in fear for their lives.
The attackers, said to have been masquerading as Somali camel herders, reportedly committed the crimes following sporadic pasture-related conflicts characteristic of the remote part of Kitui County.
Joram King’ondu, a resident of Musenge village, said they attacked his neighbour unprovoked at his home and beheaded him on Sunday evening.
“The banditry menace dates back to several decades ago. The same Somali bandits killed my father and two of my uncles,” he said.
“People have since fled their homes and are living in the bushes like animals. Children cannot go to school due to heightened insecurity. We are suffering."
Jonathan Ngau, who is recuperating at Mutomo Mission Hospital, was attacked while on a motorcycle with his friend and severely injured as one of the assailants drove a spear through his ribs.
Katuku Kieti from Ndulani village is admitted at the same hospital as the bandits waylaid her on her way home and nearly chopped off her left arm.
Dr John Amolo said the victims, including a man with bullet wounds in the leg, were responding well to treatment and were stable.
Kitui South MP Rachael Nyamai blamed the State, saying it had failed to provide a lasting solution to menace.
She appealed to Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to swiftly initiate disarmament and eviction of the bandits from Kitui as part of efforts to restore peace along the volatile border with Tana River.
Mutomo Deputy County Commissioner Ronald Nyakasi said security officers were combing the area for the criminals and that several suspects had been arrested in connection to Sunday’s murder.