A middle-aged man is alleged to have killed his wife and two children over a family dispute at Bendera area, West Pokot County on Thursday morning.
According to neighbours, the suspect identified as Joseph Lokwang has been having frequent quarrels with his wife but woke up to the smell of smoke which came from one of the rental houses in the wee hours of Thursday morning.
The two children, five and three years old were burnt beyond recognition. Witnesses say the man had stabbed them before setting the house ablaze.
One of the neighbours, Everline Cheyech said she heard Lokwang’s wife screaming for help prompting her to alert other neighbours to find out what was happening.
"We found the door locked from inside. We managed to break the door but unfortunately, we could not save the kids because they succumbed to the fire. The wife was still alive when we broke into the house but we couldn’t save her. Lokwang was standing at the door with blood oozing from his neck,” Cheyech said
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She added that the suspect had stabbed himself in a bid to end his life but locals managed to rush him to hospital with the help of police.
“The two are not drunkards, and we are shocked by how the man turned against his family. Such an incident has never occurred in this area, it's really shocking,” she said.
Santos Madalo, the area village leader condemned the incident and noted that the locals were still reeling in shock over what motivated the husband to attack his family.
"I urge members of the public to resolve family differences amicably and seek help from authorities. We are yet to come to terms with what transpired,” he said.
West Pokot Police Commander Jackson Tumwet confirmed the incident adding that police officers are investigating what caused the fire and what killed the three.
He said the caretaker of the rental houses, Geoffrey Plimo, called officers at Kapenguria Police Station reporting that Lokwang had locked himself in his single-room house and ignited a fire.
"The police rushed to the scene and were able to rescue him and his wife with the help of members of the public. Both had multiple stab wounds and burns. Two of their children were burnt beyond recognition," he said.
Tumwet added that the couple was rushed to Kapenguria County hospital where the wife was pronounced dead on arrival and the husband admitted in critical condition under police guard.
"The three bodies were moved to Kapenguria County hospital morgue awaiting postmortem. We suspect the motive of the incident is a domestic issue," he said.