Orma deny police access to corpses

By Joseph Masha

Enraged Orma villagers have blocked police officers from retrieving ten bodies of slain ethnic Pokomo militiamen believed killed in the Kipao massacre.

Evidence of the hatred between the two communities further unfolded Friday when reports showed that the Orma were planning to burn the corpses of mainly young Pokomo men who were slain by villagers resisting an invasion of their village.

Police looked helplessly as the villagers armed with bows, arrows and spears cordoned off access to the mutilated corpses with a senior police officer commanding police here suggesting they will not try to retrieve the bodies by force in order not to provoke the villagers further.

“We did not want to use force after the Ormas blocked us from taking the corpses,” said General Service Unit Assistant Commandant Antony Kamitu who further told The Standard On Saturday the decision was taken because the Orma who were seething with anger would have reacted violently.

The corpses themselves bore huge and ghoulish machete and spear wound indicating how the men were killed.

Beside the bodies were red bandanas they were said to have worn on their foreheads during the raid. Five houses were burnt and people killed inside.

Kamitu said the slain men were part of a gang of about 200 militiamen who attacked Kipao with guns, machetes, and spears. But there was no evidence of guns recovered from the slain militiamen.