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Residents torch chief's motorcycles, vandalise home

Friday May 8 2020

Government motorcycles that were burnt on May

Government motorcycles that were burnt on May 5, 2020 by irate locals at Karichu village in Igembe North, Meru County. PHOTO | DAVID MUCHUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Police in Igembe North are investigating an incident where residents of Karichu location burnt two government motorcycles assigned to a chief and his assistant on Wednesday.

The home of Chief Samson Thiringi was also vandalised by the rowdy locals who accuse the administrators of skewed identification and registration of residents meant to benefit from government support during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The chief escaped the wrath of the mob which confiscated the motorcycles and set them on fire, before proceeding to hunt down the assistant chief and burnt his motorcycle.

They later proceeded to Mr Thiringi’s home where they vandalised the house.

Igembe North sub-county police commander Apollo Busolo said a team had been dispatched to the area to investigate the incident.

An administrator who sought anonymity said the chief has been strict in the line of duty attracting the wrath of his enemies.


“We have leads on those who incited the attack on the chiefs. The claims that the list of beneficiaries is not transparent are unfounded. The law will catch up with them,” the official said.

According to residents, the chiefs have included the ‘rich’ in the list of beneficiaries while leaving out the needy.

They said despite orders by the deputy county commissioner to provide the list of the bona fide residents, the chief tore the paper bearing the names into pieces.

“The chief found us preparing the list for presentation to the DO and tore it. This is when angry residents went after him,” a resident said.

There has been rising disquiet across the county over the registration of vulnerable residents meant to be cushioned from the effects of Covid-19 with locals citing lack of transparency.

Last month, residents of Nchooro in Tigania West held demonstrations accusing the area chief of leaving out the needy from the list of beneficiaries.

Several leaders in Meru have also called for transparency in the listing of vulnerable households in the County. They called for posting of the list of beneficiaries at government office notice boards.

On April 20 Meru County Commissioner Allan Machari said 90,000 vulnerable residents had been registered and warned Chiefs against listing people who are not in need.