Chief arrested for failing to prevent clashes in Trans Mara

Thursday September 28 2017

Security officers at the scene where a

Security officers at the scene where a businessman was killed in deadly clashes that hit Esoit in Trans Mara West, Narok County. A chief has been arrested in connection with the clashes. PHOTO | JOEL REYIA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Police are detaining a government administrator on suspicion that he failed to prevent the recent ethnic clashes in Esoit, Trans Mara, Narok County.

Trans Mara West Police Boss David Wambua said Kirindon Assistant Chief Nelson Napono Mutui was taken into custody on Wednesday, two days after eight people killed in the clashes.

He said the security agencies were investigating why one of the victims was killed outside the administrator’s  doorstep and he did nothing.


“We are aware that Mr Maritim was butchered right at his doorstep yet he never came out of his house in an attempt to rescue him from his assailants. He could have calmed the youths and asked them to let the law takes its course,” he said.

Police say the Chief only came out after the man had been killed,  despite the many distress calls raised by the victim.

The man was one of the seven people butchered in retaliation clashes following the death of a local business man, Mr Ben Kolian.

The trader was ambushed by unknown people, but the aftermath immediately took an ethnic dimension in an area that has traditionally seen these type of violent incidents before.

During the burial of the late Kolian on Wednesday at his Esoit home, members of the Maasai community protested the arrest of the Chief, arguing he was unfairly targeted.

Speaker after speaker, instead castigated the government for apprehending one of their own saying he had in fact helped rescue many people.

Trans Mara Peace Chairman Mr Julius Ole Maki faulted the arrest of Chief Napono saying it has not gone well with the Maasai community.

“We know how he relentlessly rescued people who ran to seek refuge in his house,” said Mr Maki.

In Trans Mara, folks have got used to violent incidences that claim at least a dozen people every year. It often starts with one attack that balloons into retaliations. Then peace talks. Land tussles have often been blamed for the violence.

In August last year, seven people were killed, several others injured and houses torched in bloody confrontations between the two sides.

It started on one weekend when a man was hacked to death in broad daylight.

Later, local leaders among them Narok Governor  Samuel Tunai, Kilgoris MP  Gideon Konchella and Emurua Dikiir MP Mr Johanna Ng’eno and area Members of County Assembly (MCAs) attended the meeting with police and jointly agreed to preach peace.

Tension is still high at Esoit as families of victims of the clashes continue to bury their loved ones.