Home English News Lempurkel arrested over incitement after fresh killings in Laikipia

Lempurkel arrested over incitement after fresh killings in Laikipia

64
SHARE

Former Laikipia North MP Mathew Lempurkel was arrested on Wednesday evening on allegations of incitement to violence.

Lempurkel was picked up from a bar in Rumuruti town, Laikipia Police Commander Simon Kipkeu said without revealing the police station he was taken to.

But he said the suspect will be arraigned “anytime”.

The arrest followed killings and injuries in Laikipia West and North by bandits, believed to be from the neighbouring Baringo County.

Kipkeu told the Star by phone: “Lempurkel was heard inciting members of two communities to evict other communities and invade private ranches.”

He said the MP committed the office on Monday at a meeting in Mouwarak area in Laikipia North Constituency.

MANY INCITEMENT CASES

Lempurkel is facing several cases related to incitement to violence at a Nanyuki town court; two were forwarded to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution while another two are being handled by a Nairobi court.

The former ODM legislator is also facing an assault case that concerns Sarah Lekorere, who succeeded him on a Jubilee Party ticket.

He denied assaulting the woman at Harambee House in Nairobi in 2016, during a meeting on insecurity in the county.

Lempurkel had denied involvement in insecurity but sources familiar with the investigations claim he may have had a hand in the theft of 875 cattle from Ole Naishu Ranch.

The sources also said police were contemplating swearing an affidavit for the lawmaker to be detained for several days for the sake of proper investigations.

Should the former legislator be charged over the latest incitement claims, he will be facing a total of eight charges on the vice.

THE MATTER OF GRAZING IN PRIVATE FARMS

The Police Commander said insecurity was slowly creeping back into parts of Laikipia North and West.

Kipeu linked the crimes to several meetings during which Lempurkel urged herders to graze in private farms.

Last month, a police officer told a Nanyuki court how Lempurkel stormed Rumuruti Police Station, with his supporters, and threatened to set it ablaze on July 31, 2016.

Officer Lawrence Waweru said the accused was with about 10 people and that he demanded the release of Dominic Lenyamile, who had been arrested for malicious damage to property.

Over this matter, Lempurkel faced two counts of incitement to violence – in the first count, he is accused of threatening to burn down the station to free Lenyamile.

The second count states that he threatened to harm police officer Nicholas Kipruto who had been manning the report desk at the station

Waweru told Chief Magistrate Lucy Mutai that he found Lempurkel telling Kipruto to release the suspect failure of which he would burn the police station.

“Shortly after, the OCS arrived accompanied by the area DCIO and talked to the MP. I was instructed to escort the prisoner to Nyahururu Police Station,” he said.

SIX KILLED, NO POLICE ACTION

On Tuesday, four people from Laikipia were attacked and killed at Amaiya trading centre where they went for the weekly livestock marketing day.

A Kenya Assemblies of God pastor was among them.

Local leaders led by Laikipia West MP Patrick Mariru and Senator John Kinyua therefore want the government to take strict action.

They regretted that since the attack happened, police have not made any arrests.

“This is a serious matter that the government has to take action against. We cannot lose lives every day to bandits. So far, six people have been killed and yet no action has been taken,” said Mariru.

He added that people living along the Laikipia-Baringo border are fearful of more attacks.

“The government has to protect its people by deploying more officers along the border. People have started running away from their homes over insecurity.”

Noting the region had enjoyed peace for several months before the fresh crimes, Mariru asked security personnel to carry out a disarmament exercise so illegal weapons are confiscated.

Kinyua called for the investigation of politicians inciting communities against one another.

“Information indicates that a section of leaders are holding night meetings to incite [the people]. It is high time the government took action against them so they can be tamed.”