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State blamed for inaction as slain former ward rep buried

By Stephen Rutto | July 8th 2019 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Some of the North Rift leaders who turned up for the burial of former Kanu MCA Benson Kiptire at Kabiego in Marakwet East on Saturday. [Peter Odhiambo, Standard]

A former Elgeyo Marakwet MCA who was killed two weeks ago after he was abducted got an emotional send-off as leaders from North Rift counties accused the State of failing to arrest his killers.

Benson Kiptire, the former Kanu ward representative, was eulogised at his Kapyego home in Marakwet East Constituency on Saturday as a peace champion who united warring communities.

Gideon's message

Kanu chairman and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, who described the former MCA as a firm supporter of the independence party, sent his condolence message through Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos.

Kiptire was abducted on June 21, in Eldoret. His body was a day later found in Kamatira Forest in the neighbouring West Pokot County.

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Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen claimed the former ward representative, who was also his liaison officer, was assassinated over his stand on banditry attacks.

“Kiptire was actually assassinated. The people who were expected to protect him are the ones who killed him. The people who wanted him dead do not believe in the rule of law,” said Mr Murkomen.

The Majority Leader in the Senate expressed concerns that the era of assassinations was back in the country. He urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene.

Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi hit out at the Interior ministry for what he termed failure to protect the lives of Kenyans.

Mr Sudi said it was shocking that the politician was killed yet he was a strong champion for peace along the border of Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot counties.

Mr Tolgos praised Kiptire for supporting him in the fight against alcohol abuse, as well as rehabilitation of addicts and brewers.

Tolgos also told mourners: “I was with Gideon Moi and he expressed his support for the family of the late former MCA. He promised to visit and condole with the family soon.”

Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago said: “We say no to extrajudicial killings that are happening even after we changed the Constitution in 2010.”

Rift leaders' meet

Mr Mandago said he would call a meeting of all leaders from the North Rift under the North Rift Economic bloc to discuss ways of addressing insecurity.

Marakwet East MP Kangogo Bowen accused the Directorate of Criminal Investigations of failing to arrest the suspects behind the killing two weeks down the line.

The funeral was also attended by Elgeyo Marakwet Woman Representative Jane Chebaibai, Marakwet East MP William Kisang, former Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo and a host of former and current MCAs.

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