Outrage as gang brutally murders cousins in Sigowet

The assailants stole the victims' phones and money. [iStockphoto] 

Two families in Kericho County are demanding justice following the killing of their kin.

Davis Kiprono Barongei, 24, and his cousin Kevin Kiprotich, 25, were returning from Sigowet trading centre last Tuesday, May 7, at 11:30 pm when unknown assailants attacked them.

The gang hacked Barongei on the head with a machete, leaving him for the dead by the roadside at Kona Sita.

Kiprotich was dragged nine kilometres away before he was brutally assaulted by the assailants. He succumbed to the injuries at Kericho Nursing Home on Friday.

The assailants stole the victims' phones and money.

Barongei's father Francis Taitta Birgen, recounted the horrifying events that led to the demise of his son and nephew.

"What should have been a stroll home turned into a nightmare as the murderous gang descended upon them along the Sigowet-Chepkemel-Soko Huru road, robbing them after inflicting fatal wounds," he said.

Birgen said they were yet to establish the motive behind the murders. 

“We don’t know whether the killers targeted their phones and money or there’s another reason. We hope the investigation will lead to the arrest of the culprits so we can get answers and justice,” he said.

The incident was reported to Sondu Police Station under OB 13/11/05/24, but almost a week later, no suspect has been arrested.

Richard Birgen, an uncle of the deceased, believes that had there been police stationed at Sigowet Police Station, the young men might still be alive today.

Despite being gazetted in the 1980s, officers have never been posted to the police station.

The nearest police station, located in Sondu, and the Administration Police station in Chepkemel are five kilometres away.

"On the same night, we heard reports of a student at Sigowet Medical Training College narrowly escaping death after encountering the same thugs who killed my son and nephew. We have no security in Sigowet," said Birgen.

Kelvin Sang, a cousin of the deceased, accused the police in Sondu of complacency in handling the case.

"They failed to secure the crime scene and have not provided updates on the investigation," he said.

However, Peter Nthiga, the Soin/Sigowet Sub County Officer Commanding the Police Division, downplayed the family's concerns.

"Investigation is underway. We can’t divulge much information right now lest we jeopardise the investigation," he said.

Nthiga assured the community that patrols have been intensified along the Sigowet–Chepkemel–Soko Huru road.

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