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State Blamed for Brutal Murder of Baringo MCA

By Mercy Kahenda | Published Sat, May 20th 2017 at 00:00, Updated May 19th 2017 at 23:39 GMT +3
Residents of Churo Amaya ward in Tiaty Sub-county mourn the death of their MCA Thomas Minito. (Photo: Kipsang' Joseph/Standard)

Tension is high in Baringo County after Churo Amaiya MCA Thomas Minito, who had been missing for five days, was found dead under Ol Donyo Sabuk Bridge in Athi River Friday.

The chilling murder of Minito follows the brutal killing of Loyamorok MCA Kibet Cheretei and Tiaty parliamentary aspirant Pepee Kitambaa by unknown armed men in Marigat town in February.

Family members and relatives Friday converged on Churo Trading Centre to mourn Minito, with irate residents blocking Churo-Loruk road to register their disappointment with the police.

The slain MCA was allegedly picked up by two men while he was having lunch at a hotel in Kabarnet town on Monday but the matter was not booked in any police station, raising alarm among friends and relatives.

His body was found under the bridge by passersby who alerted the police who have said they suspect that he was killed elsewhere and the body taken to the scene.

The body was taken to Kangundo Nursing Home mortuary.

Minito had been arrested last month over the invasion of ranches in Laikipia County and was released on Sh1.5 million bond after he denied charges of arson and incitement.

Hard to believe

His neighbour, David Lomantile said Minito was a leader determined to bring change in Churo Amaya ward and the entire East Pokot Sub County.

“It is hard to believe our MCA is no more. He was a leader who was dedicated to seeing more children enroll in school and making facilities such as hospitals accessible,” said Lomantile.

He asked the government to speed up investigation into the killing.

However, the residents armed with crude weapons turned against journalists who had visited Minito’s home, accusing the media of not vibrantly publishing issues that affect the Pokot community such as insecurity and killings of leaders and civilians.

“What is the media coming to do here? Where were you when we were looking for Minito?” a resident shouted at Saturday Standard team. The team was then ordered out of the compound.

“Leave this place as fast as you can because you’re not useful,” one man said.

The locals also torched a neighbour’s house.

Meanwhile, Bartabwa MCA Joseph Makilap said the news of Minito’s demise shocked him. He said the MCA was a dedicated leader with a vision of improving the livelihoods of the locals.

He said Minito, who was the County Assembly’s Budget Committee vice chairman and Deputy Minority Leader was a vibrant politician who spoke with authority and courage.

“I have lost a good friend. He was a good debater who handled issues professionally,” he said.

Minito was the first MCA to move a motion of impeachment against Governor Benjamin Cheboi.

He was linked to Laikipia banditry attacks and was arrested late last month and taken to Kabarnet Police Station.

Mading Kipterer, an elder of the Pokot community, said it is unfortunate their leaders are being killed and the Government is silent about it.

“We have problems in this area because our leaders are brutally killed by armed criminals while the Government sits back without arresting anyone,” Kipterer said.

Mutilated bodies

The elder asked the Government to conduct quick investigations into the killings and bring the perpetrators to book.

Lilian Kokon, daughter of a retired military officer who was killed together with his son in 2014, said it is unfortunate that nobody has been arrested three years later.

“I remember the mutilated bodies of my father and brother who were brutally shot and killed by criminals. Why have the criminals not been arrested?” posed Kokon.

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