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Francis ole Kaparo ends visit to border as residents heckle him

By CHRISTINE OGUTU | June 23rd 2016
National Cohesion and Integration Commission chairman Francis Ole Kaparo in a scuffle with Nyando MP Fred Outa and Muhoroni counterpart James Koyoo during his peace mission on June 22 2016 at Songhor along Kisumu- Nandi border where clashes erupted leaving two dead. Kaparo was chased away by the locals and their leaders who said they had no confidence in his Commission. (PHOTO: COLLINS ODUOR/ STANDARD)

National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) Chairman Francis ole Kaparo yesterday cut short his visit to the Kisumu-Nandi border.

This is after angry and unruly villagers escaping a tribal flare-up booed him.

The border clashes have claimed the lives of two people and left 500 others displaced.

The NCIC chief's attempts to hold peace meetings at Kopere and Songor markets failed and he had to leave in a huff under tight security after victims and local leaders accused him of doing too little too late to prevent the violence.

Residents said it was wrong for Mr Kaparo to wait until people had been killed before visiting them.

Tension remained high along the border following the chaos allegedly sparked by livestock theft on Monday.

Two institutions, St Gabriel Boarding and Songor Primary schools, that were shut on Monday, remained closed as the fighting escalated.

Before the villagers turned against him, Kaparo said he was in the area to preach peace and cohesion.

"I came to Kisumu for another meeting but I heard there was trouble in these sides and decided to come and assess the situation. I am as aggrieved as you are. The law must protect every citizen and if your property was taken, it is your right to get it back," he said.

The displaced families said they were angry with Kaparo because the Government he represented had failed to resolve the cattle rustling menace. They also accused the Government of discriminating against them.

Four injured villagers earlier admitted to Chemelil Health Centre were yesterday afternoon transferred to the Jaramogi Teaching and Referral Hospital. The Kisumu county administration promised to offset their medical bills.

Nyando MP Fred Outa and his Muhoroni counterpart Onyango K'Oyoo blamed the Ministry of Interior for taking the clashes lightly.

Yesterday, Church leaders from Nandi and Kisumu counties were scheduled to tour the affected villages.

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