, NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 10 – Kericho Senator Charles Keter has dared Nyakach MP Aduma Owour to name elected leaders he claims fanned recent clashes along the border of Nyakach and Kericho West districts.
The Senator was reacting to statements Owour made at a news conference in Kisumu on Saturday, in which he claimed that three elected leaders from the Rift Valley were behind ferrying of youths from Kericho County to fight in the border clash.
“I read a statement attributed to the Nyakach MP alleging that a senior politician from Eldoret, a Senator from Rift Valley (I don’t know whether he meant me or who) and a County Representative are behind the attacks; if indeed the allegations he has are true, let him record a statement and give the facts at his nearest police station, so that this does not look like a game especially when we have lost lives and property destroyed,” he said.
The police and Kenya Red Cross have so far put the death toll in the clashes at five.
“I want him to go ahead and name them, because he knows who they are, let him be honest enough and assist us. I think it will make things move faster,” stated Senator Keter.
Owour said the fighting that was on its third day Sunday cannot be pegged on cattle rustling.
Senator Keter, who refused to discuss whether he was among the elected leaders Owour was referring to, instead urged the police to investigate the statements.
He urged leaders to avoid making inciting remarks and instead preach peace and harmony for the sake of cohesiveness and development in the area.
“Our work there is to maintain law and order so that whatever we have been sharing in the boundaries can continue, that has been my plea all along,” Senator Keter pleaded. “We have a lot in common; we trade with each other, our children cross (the border) to go school and if there are issues of theft, a thief must be treated as a thief. A thief has no community.”
Keter said relative calm has returned to the area after peace campaigns from both sides. He added that the residents from both sides of the border were engaging in economic actives at the Sondu area on Monday which is usually a market day.
Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo had confirmed that the clashes erupted when two members of one community were allegedly accused of cattle rustling and were subjected to mob justice that left one of them dead.
This led to the other community carrying retaliatory attacks where they burned a sugar plantation and nine houses.