In what can be described as murders most foul with political undertones in the North Rift region, the bodies of a Baringo Ward Rep and three children of an aspirant who were all reported missing have been found dumped at various spots sparking an angry wave of protests.
The four victims had reportedly missing— the Amaya Ward Member of County Assembly Thomas Loktari Minito was on Tuesday abducted by individuals who had posed as policemen in Kabarnet while Kapsoya ward aspirant James Ratemo’s children disappeared after church last Saturday.
Minito’s body, which had visible head injuries suspected to have inflicted by a blunt object was found floating under Ol Donyo Sauk bridge by a boda boda operator who notified the police on Thursday evening.
Scene of crime detectives moved the body to Donyo Sabuk mortuary for autopsy. Ratemo’s three missing children—Clifford Nyambane,6 , Dan Nyamweya,5, and Glen Ongagi, 3, had gone to Eldovil SDA church on May 13, accompanied by their cousin, but they did not return home.
Nyambane and Nyamweya’s bodies were found in the Kitale County Referral Hospital on Friday morning while Ongagi’s was found floating in River Nzoia. Nyambane was a Standard One pupil at Highland Grace Academy while Nyamweya was in Middle Class at Shalom Academy. The youngest, Ongagi, was yet to join school.
According to police report, poster bearing Minito’s name was recovered from his pocket. “The body had an injury on his head caused by a blunt object.” part of the police report says.
The MCA, who went missing on Tuesday in Kabarnet, had been adversely mentioned in connection to the Kerio Valley clashes and banditry attacks at Kuki Gullmann’s HYPERLINK “http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2017/03/29/pokot-bandits-burn-laikipias-mukutan-retreat-in-revenge-on-police_c1534531″Mukutan Nature Conservancy in Laikipia early this year.
Tiaty MP Asman Kamama, an ally of the late MCA, wondered how the abductors of Minito travelled all the way from Baringo to Machakos, passing through 40 police road blocks without being detected.
While calling for calm among residents of Baringo, Kamama said the MCA may have been killed by people who had political issues with him. “I call upon Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) to carry out parallel investigations to establish the cause of his death,” he said. Minito was arrested and taken to Rumuruti police station as a suspect.
He was released on a Sh1.5 million bond by the Laikipia magistrate’s court. A day before his body was found, leaders from Baringo county led by Leader of Majority Elijah Toroitich stormed Kabarnet Police Station demanding information on his whereabouts.
In February this year, Cherotey Kibet, a member of the Baringo County Assembly and Eng Pepe Kitambaa, a Jubilee Party parliamentary aspirant, were shot at point blank range when two hooded men attacked them in a club in Marigat just after midnight.
And in on the tragedy that befell the Ratemo family, the distraught mother of the three boys, had on Wednesday said the children had gone to church ahead of her but she did not find them when she arrived there a few minutes later.
“I prepared very early for church as is the norm on Saturday,” she said. “However, when I reached at church, which is just 500 metres away, I could not find them. I assumed that they had gone to play with their friends, but I was alarmed when they failed to come back home.” she said.
Police have launched investigations to establish the cause of the three deaths even as the search for the remaining child is intensified. Their father is vying on a Kanu ticket.
Meanwhile, police have arrested four suspects in connection to then killing of Minito and held one man over the deaths of three siblings as investigations into the separate crimes got underway.