Tension as teenager drowns and six houses burnt down in reprisal

Passersby look on after a furious fire gutted down residential houses. [Photo/Standard]
There was tension yesterday after a watchman was accused of causing the death of a 14-year-old boy.

The boy is said to have been herding cattle on a coffee farm in the company of his friends when the watchman chased them away.

As the boys fled, the victim fell into River Sabwani and drowned on Tuesday.

In retaliation, members of the victim's family, joined by some residents, stormed the guard's home and set six houses ablaze.

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They also burnt down food stores, destroying more than 100 bags of maize in the process.

County Kenya Red Cross Society chairman Ronald Masindano said the boys were herding livestock at Tropical Coffee Farm, near Endebess, when they were ambushed and chased away by the guard.

“The boy was fleeing from the guard when he fell into the river and drowned. The family of the boy, in retaliation, torched the man’s houses and those of his kin,” said Masindano.

The guard's family members and relatives, totalling 30 people, were forced to flee and sought refuge at Endebess Police Station.

Yesterday, Deputy County Commissioner Peter Maina visited the affected area where he met residents in efforts to quell the heightening tension.

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Maina warned the public against taking the law into their hands. He said they had already launched investigations into the incidents.

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