A 51-year-old livestock farmer from Kipsing village in Isiolo County was murdered in cold blood for refusing to surrender his daughter to a neighbour to help in herding goats.
Nginai Lemantaan was reportedly confronted by two brothers who hit him on the head with a rungu (club) and later stabbed him twice, inflicting fatal injuries last Friday.
Kipsing assistant chief Rambei Lekipaika told the Nation that he was among the first to arrive at the crime scene and assisted in taking the victim to Isiolo County Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
According to Lemantaan’s family, the assailants aged 42 and 45 years were against a decision by the father to enroll his 10-year-old daughter at a local school.
The girl has been assisting one of the assailants in herding his goats but the minor had complained of mistreatment by the neighbour and requested his father to take her to school.
Allowing a child to move to a neighbour’s house to assist in herding goats and sheep is a common practice among the pastoralist communities of Isiolo and Samburu counties, a situation that contributes to high school dropout rate especially among girls.
The family has complained that six days after Lemantaan was killed, police are yet to apprehend the suspects despite their hideout being known.
“We do not understand why the police are dragging their feet in making arrests of the suspects who are known. My uncle has left behind three widows and 12 children and we shall not rest until the criminals are made to answer for their heinous act,” said Mr Francis Lemoire.
A postmortem carried out on Sunday at the Isiolo County Hospital mortuary indicated that Lemantaan died from severe bleeding as a result of the two stab wounds – one in the shoulder and the other in the chest.
A nephew to the deceased Mr Kelvin Lemantaan claimed police were last weekend tipped of the suspects’ hideout but failed to act.
“One of the suspects is a known criminal who has previously assaulted five other people with a machete and is yet to face the law. If police continue dragging their feet, as a family, we shall mobilize the community to arrest them and hand them over to the police,” said Lemantaan.
Isiolo OCPD Mohamed Bakuli said he is not aware of the case, pledging to follow-up.