Families of two people who were killed on Christmas day following a confrontation between locals at Chebarus area, in Kiplombe, Turbo sub-County now want justice.
The families of Eliud Menjo, 47, and Joel Kibet Keter, 53, accuse KDF of using excessive force during the incident that emanated from a row over ownership of a 9,000-acre piece of land.
They accuse KDF officers of firing live bullets at the locals.
According to some of the family members who spoke to Uasin Gishu News, the deceased were breadwinners and did nothing wrong to warrant their deaths.
“My son was here until 2 pm when he heard people wailing at a nearby school. Took a motorbike to go check on what was happened only to be met with a bullet,” said Paul Ng’elechei, father to one of those killed.
“He was someone every one of us looked at – from educating the children to other things,” he added.
The deceased was the firstborn son in a family of 10 children.
Concerning the land ownership row with KDF, the families insisted that they legally acquired it.
They said they have been living in the land for several decades now and were surprised when the soldiers started erecting beacons.
“We have lived in this land since 1971. I was born and brought up here, where will we go now. I was married here and I have given birth to my children while here. The government needs to look at this issue so that we get justice,” said Grace Kurgat, a local in the area, and a family member of one of the two people killed in the incident.
A police report filed at Soy Police Station indicates that KDF officers from the Kenya Ordinance Factory were conducting a survey on their land occupied by members of the public but met resistance from locals at the Chebarus area.
The report notes that the KDF officers accompanied by police officers from Soy Police Station unsuccessfully tried to talk to locals not to interfere with the exercise.
“The locals came to Chebarus primary school, where the main beacon is situated, and closed the gate of the school. They then started pelting the officers with stones,” read part of the report.
Police say the officers “were forced to use necessary force to leave the school compound” where they had been held.
In the report, police officers that accompanied the KDF officers are said to have fired 5 rounds of ordinary bullets, 18 rounds of blank bullets, and 9 tear gas canisters to disperse the locals.
“The ammunition expended by the KDF officers is yet to be established,” noted the report filed at 17.40 hours on December 25, 2021.