Hundreds of non-locals in Lamu Town took to the streets early on Sunday morning to protest against increased attacks and killings.
The protests were precipitated by the killing of a 35-year-old man who was attacked with machetes and knives at Bombay area on Lamu Island on Saturday night.
Jackson Wasi, a father of five and who works as a hotelier in Shella, was accosted and attacked by the machete-wielding gang at around 10pm and slashed to death.
Mr Wasi had just left his place of work in Shella and was heading home in Bombay when he was attacked.
The attackers made away with his wallet and phone and left him for dead.
He had deep panga cuts on his head, stomach and hands.
A group of Good Samaritans found him and rushed him to the King Fahad County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
“It’s unfortunate that Wasi has died. He is a friend to everyone. They hit him with blunt objects on the head and also cut him with machetes and pangas on the head, stomach and hands. It was painful,” said Mr John Mnyaka who was among those who rushed him to hospital.
“It’s also strange because he was a quiet person and had no grudges with anyone. We hope the killers are brought to book.”
Angry residents marched to County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo’s office and demanded to know why such attacks were rampant, yet police patrols are said to have been increased.
“We want justice for Wasi. We also want the police to ensure investigations are done and assailants brought to book. This isn’t the first time such an attack is happening or someone is dying. We are told not to worry since police patrol these areas, yet we continue to die.
“What makes us angry is that only non-locals are attacked and killed. We really want to understand why. We must be assured of our security. It’s our right,” said Mr Ephantus Kirima, a protester.
Mr Kitiyo confirmed the incident and said investigations have been launched.
He warned members of the public against walking around with crude weapons in public places and said such people would be arrested and charged for posing a danger to the public.
“I am currently away but my deputies are there. It’s very true. The man was slashed to death. We shall find out who did this and why. In the meantime locals should understand that the ban on pangas, knives, machetes and rungus is on.
“Enforcement will be enhanced. Police patrols will also be increased in all areas. We can’t have such incidents,” said Mr Kitiyo.