Suspected cattle rustler killed in Transmara East

A 24-year-old man suspected to have been a member of gang of cattle raiders was lynched by an irate mob at Lolmason village in Kapwera area in Transmara East early this morning.

Confirming the incident, the new Transmara East OCPD Mr. Joel Syuki said an unknown number of cattle rustlers had raided the home of Sigilai Arap Langat and made away with six heads of cattle but members of the public caught up with the deceased (name withheld) and beat him to death as the others fled.

Mzee Langat heard commotion in his compound shortly after midnight Wednesday and raised alarm where members of the public gave chase and caught up with the deceased, Syuki said.

The body has been moved to Longisa Hospital Mortuary in Bomet pending postmortem and further investigation into the incident and information to the next of kin.

Syuki has however cautioned members of the public against taking the law in their hands and urges them to instead hand suspects to security personnel for further investigations and for the law to take its course.

Killing a suspect can curtail further investigations which would otherwise have led to the unearthing all the suspects in the crime, Syuki said.

He said in meting out what he called instant public justice, the victim is not given an opportunity to defend himself and could lead to the hurting of innocent people.

Although clear data on mob justice is not available in the country, that compiled from media reports found that between 1996 and 2013, more than 1,500 persons were executed by a mob. In the 2011 Crime Report, the National Police Service captured mob justice for the first and only time as an independent category of crime, with 543 people killed that year, which is average of 1.5 people a day.

In the first seven months of 2013, reports indicate that 335 people were reportedly killed by a mob.

Sociologists and psychologists attribute the increase in number of cases of mob justice in the country to the frustration of the public by the inadequacy in the socio-justice structures to address crime and other social ills.

A sociology professor at Maasai Mara University who declined to be named says people take the law in their hands when they no longer have faith in the social structures put in place such as the security machinery and the justice system.

Source: Kenya News Agency