Kerio Valley residents protest killings by bandits

Elgeyo Marakwet residents demonstrating over Kerio Valley Killings. [Christopher Kipsang, Standard

Tens of protesters yesterday interrupted Madaraka Day celebrations at Huruma Grounds in Turbo sub-County where they demanded that President Uhuru Kenyatta intervene to end the killings in Kerio Valley.

The demonstrators, who wore white T-Shirts emblazoned with ‘Stop the Killings in Kerio Valley’ momentarily halted activities at the fete, minutes after holding protests in Eldoret town.

Four people, among them three pupils of Tot Primary School, were shot dead after armed assailants raided Kerio Valley on Sunday afternoon.

On Monday, two teacher unions announced that their members would go on strike. They said teachers and pupils in the volatile valley were at great risk of being attacked.

Elgeyo Marakwet Tourism Executive Shadrack Yatich and former Deputy Speaker Paul Sutter were among the Eldoret protesters.

Nelson Kiprono, a resident, said the silence by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i and his Education counterpart George Magoha was worrying. "The killings have paralysed all economic activities in Kerio Valley. Farmers have not gone to the farms this year because the area is tense.

“Boda boda operators have also halted business because armed criminal gangs have laid ambush along the roads,” Mr Kiprono said.

Another resident, Elizabeth Korir, described the attacks as painful.

Elgeyo Marakwet Deputy Governor Wisley Rotich said, “I am short of words, devastated and heartbroken by the current spate of insecurity along the Kerio Valley. Schools have been affected, families displaced and economy disrupted.”