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Killing Fields: Police place Sh1m bounty on key suspect in Mt Elgon terror

By Hillary Orinde | Published Thu, March 8th 2018 at 00:00, Updated March 8th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3
Police have asked those with information on Timothy Kiptanui Kitai alias Cheparkach to call or text their hotlines 020-2199151/999/112/0702432877 [Courtesy]

“They shot my husband in the chest at close range and then chopped off his head. They then put his head in a bag they were carrying and ran away with it,” narrated 29-year old Phemi Chebet.

The mother of five had witnessed the cruel killing of her husband in the troubled Mt Kenya and was appealing to the government to help her find the decapitated head for burial according to her tradition.

A situation that compounded the agony of residents in the volatile Mt Kenya region.

However, police are now closing in the suspect accused of heading the organised gang behind the wave of murders and robberies.

The National Police Service has placed a Sh1 million bounty on Timothy Kiptanui Kitai who is popularly known as Cheparkach.

"Wanted for murder and robbery in Mt Elgon. He is armed and dangerous," the notice published on Wednesday March 3 reads in part.

This comes a day after Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i gazetted Cheptais sub-county as a troubled area and declared a three-month dawn-to-dusk curfew as a way of dealing with the rampant insecurity.

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“We shall deal with them (the gang behind the killings). We cannot be having a section of this great country with violence,” CS Matiang’i asserted.

Tens of people have been killed in the region in the recent past.

Attacks that rekindled memories of Sabaot Land Defence Forces (SLDF), a militia which killed and maimed people for years.

The gang was quelled by military officers and their commander Wycliffe Matakwei killed a decade ago.

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