Uproar after police allegedly shoot dead over 119 cows in West Pokot
Herders in Masol area of West Pokot County have accused the police of felling 119 heads of cattle.
The herders say they lost their animals to police bullets shortly after leaving the grazing fields of Masol.
The herders suspect that the police thought the herd was made up of livestock stolen by bandits, but it does little to take away the pain and sense of loss.
The herders claim that on Friday afternoon en route to Masol from the grazing fields in Kadeng’oi, police officers descended on the livestock by spraying bullets in broad daylight.
“Ng’ombe zilikuwa zinatoka malisho kurudi nyumbani na ilikuwa asubuhi saa sita,” Wilson Chekaruk, a Masol resident, said.
Peter Loriwo, a herder who is trying to save his cattle but they are all too weak to even stand or walk, says he is counting losses worth millions of shillings.
“Sasa penye walifika tu hapa hao maaskari wakashuka na wakaanza kushoot ng’ombe za watu hawa hawaelewi nini ndio ilifanyika,” Loriwo stated.
John Domoreng, another herder added: “Sisi tumepata hasara kabisa kwa sababu hii ng’ombe ndio tunategemea.”
The herders want the Ministry of Interior to investigate the case and loop in the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) to ensure the culprits are brought to book. Area leaders also condemned the incident
“Labda umepiga ng’ombe ya mtu ambaye hana hatia, alikuwa anachunga ng’ombe yake, katika enzi ya sasa collective punishment haiko katika dunia hii,” West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin said.
Sigor MP Peter Lochakapong added: “Tuna huzuni kubwa kwa sababu hatujawahi kuona wakati mwengine tangu tukuwe wakati ambapo serikali imetumia bunduki kuuwa ng’ombe ya watu bila hatia yoyote.”
“The government is supposed to protect its own people and their property but killed those animals. The Pokot have suffered close to between Ksh.10 million to Ksh.15 million,” Pokot South MP David Pkosing chimed in.
Turkana South Ssub-county Police Commander William Adenyo says investigations have since been launched into the incident.
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