In the heart of Eldoret town, a nefarious gang believed to be led by a high-ranking official within the Uasin Gishu county inspectorate department is wreaking havoc, especially on those who dare to voice dissent against the county administration.
This ruthless gang employs tactics such as espionage, threats, and violence to suppress critics and quash protests.
Its sinister operations were brought to light following the disastrous Finland and Canada education programs that left numerous parents and students stranded.
The primary targets of the gang are those who seek answers and justice from the county regarding the scandal.
Among its victims are a politician, a human rights advocate, and even a magistrate.
Politician Ousted from Meeting
Kipkorir Menjo, a prominent politician who had been outspoken about the education debacle, found himself forcibly removed from a town hall meeting attended by Uasin Gishu Governor Jonathan Bii and Senator Jackson Mandago.
Menjo was accused of aligning himself with the victims, forcing him to flee for his own safety.
“They did not want me to be at the meeting, accusing me of being critical to the administration. I had to take off because they were agitated and they were ready to harm me,” Menjo recalled when speaking to a local daily.
He called on Governor Bii to deal with the rogue officers who have been intimidating and physically abusing the traders and members of the public.
“This is something we have never witnessed and this should be put to a stop. Governor Bii should deal with rogue officers within the inspectorate department who have been intimidating and physically abusing the traders and members of the public,” he added.
Activist Escapes Abduction Attempt
Human rights activist Kimutai Kirui, based in Eldoret, disclosed that he was targeted by the gang and has received death threats.
He narrowly escaped an attempted abduction and shared his encounter with the gang leader.
“I encountered the gang leader when we were dealing with issues related to the street families after their arrest and transfer to a rescue center. I criticized the way these families were being handled, and I was warned to back off or face unspecified consequences,” Kirui explained.
Undeterred, Kirui continued to advocate for reforms within the county enforcement department, such as requiring officers to wear official uniforms and be accompanied by police when conducting their duties
“But I pressed on, requesting for an overhaul of county enforcement department, including wearing of official uniforms when executing their work and be companied by police officers. Then the gang leader and his team started threatening me using goons on social media When the gang leader threatened to kill a magistrate we came out and demanded his arrest,” he added.
As the education airlift issue took center stage, Kirui found himself in the crosshairs of the county enforcement team which was sent to arrest him.
“After the first demonstration, the gang wanted me ejected from a townhall meeting attended by Senator Jackson Mandago and Governor Bii, but parents threatened to walk out. They waited for me and attempted to abduct me and bundle me into a waiting county vehicle but members of the public and the press who filmed the incident foiled the attempt that was led by the senior official in the inspectorate,” he narrated.
Kirui urged the county to stop profiling and intimidating parents who demand their rightful dues.
“The county must cease its practices of profiling and intimidating parents who seek their entitled dues. Threats against the media, aimed at preventing the uncovering of wrongdoing, must cease immediately, as media freedom is a fundamental human right. Equally, threats against civil society organizations should be unequivocally halted,” Kirui asserted.
Governor Jonathan Bii, when approached regarding the escalating situation, pledged to take administrative action against officers implicated in the gang’s activities.
He vehemently denied the existence of an organized gang within the county while announcing plans to equip enforcement officers with new uniforms for clear identification.
“All county askaris will be issued new uniforms for identification purposes, aimed at ending further harassment of traders and the general public,” Governor Bii affirmed.
However, as the citizens of Eldoret town await concrete actions to address this alarming issue, questions linger about the governor’s ability to rein in the unruly elements within his administration.
While promises of administrative action are made, the victims of the gang’s terror continue to live in fear, and their quest for justice remains elusive.
Governor Bii’s leadership will be measured not only by his words but by the swift and effective actions he takes to restore order and ensure that the county’s residents can live without the looming specter of this menacing gang.
The citizens of Eldoret deserve more than just assurances; they deserve the freedom to voice their concerns without fear of reprisal.