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Insecurity heightens in Vihiga

11 July 2013, 11:58 Dareel Eric

Fresh from mourning the death of her late husband buried on May 18 this year, Alice Kapima, 65, is also mourning and nursing injuries on her body after armed thugs raided their village, Tuesday night.

She had just eaten supper at around 8pm, when one of her children, Andrew Kapima, opened the door to go and pass water outside only to meet a gang of armed men waiting patiently at the door.

That was to commence one of a night so traumatising to the family and the people of Nadiradi and two other villages, leaving well over seventeen people nursing injuries.

“They came to the house saying they are police officers. When I asked them to cool down and talk to us politely so that we could help them with what they wanted, one of them struck me with a panga, injuring my hand,” said Kapima.

Two of Kapima’s children, Andrew (25) and Nicholas (27), were also attacked and injured; they are nursing several injuries on their bodies.   

Kapima said that the gang was demanding all the money that her dead husband had left behind and all the offering that was given to them during his funeral, a month ago.

“They then took me to the bedroom and demanded that if I wanted to live again, I should give them all the money that I had hidden. I told them that there was nothing in the house but they insisted that I had hidden a lot of money,” she said.

A few metres from Kapima’s house, Ezekiel Mugoha, 70, who came out to help his neighbour when she started wailing uncontrollably to alert the people, is also nursing injuries.

A huge cut on his forehead is what he got after being struck with a brick and blunt iron rod.

“I fainted. I must have spent over twenty minutes on the ground as I recuperated slowly after they had attacked me without my knowledge,” he said.   

The gang of armed robbers went on to rob three villages; one in West Maragoli location and two others in Busali West location of Sabatia constituency, Vihiga County.

The gang of over fifteen individuals descended on the villages late in the night and attacked the unsuspecting residents at Mulele, Mukenya and Naridari stealing and vandalising property of unknown value.

Kisatiru sub-location chief Hudson Majanja said that in one of the villages, Mulele, the gang attacked a shop owner and stole KES 15 000 cash money from him alongside six phones that had been brought for charging.

“They then went ahead and caused bodily harm to the wife of the shop owner (Musavwa Sula) and his sister who were treated at Vihiga District Hospital Wednesday morning for the minor cuts, and allowed to go home,” said Majanja.

All the people who were injured were taken to Vihiga District Hospital in Mbale where they were treated and allowed to go home, albeit nursing injuries.

What worried the residents is that the gang was so organised in several groups and were just marching on the roads with torches as if they were patrolling the villages.

“We are asking the government to help us because most of the police officers who patrol around are always colluding with some of these gangsters and they only respond after the damage has been done,” Paul Muganga, one of the survivors said.

According to Sabatia OCPD Martha Kanini, four suspects have been nabbed by Wednesday evening and taken to Mudete Police Station where they were being held to help the police identify the other culprits.

The attack came only a day after another gang attacked residents of Givogi village in Gisambai location, Hamisi constituency.

Three homesteads were attacked on Monday night and property of unknown value looted and destroyed with the gangs causing bodily harm to several residents who are admitted at Mukumu Mission hospital, recuperating.

Two suspects in the incident were arrested and were taken to Serem Police Station where they are helping the police with investigations.   

Vihiga County Commissioner Boaz Cherotich said that they have imposed a curfew in the region and increased patrols to make sure that they get all those involved.

“We have imposed something like a curfew and anybody found roaming outside after 10pm will be arrested for further questioning. This applies even to those who operate motorcycles,” he said.

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