Tension is high at Kau village in Tana delta district after three farmers were shot dead by heavily armed pastoralists following clashes. Four farmers in critical condition are admitted at the Malindi District General Hospital after they were shot.
Witnesses said over 50 homesteads were burnt down by pastoralists who were armed with AK 47 riffles, spears and arrows.
Trouble started yesterday afternoon when a group of pastoralists stormed the village and shot at the farmers following differences over grazing land. The pastoralists are said to have migrated to the area with hundred of cattle in search for pasture, creating tensions with farmers in the last one week.
The pastoralists accused the farmers of allegedly slashed 50 heads of cattle prompting the pastoralists to seek revenge. Ali Godhana a farmer who got injured and is at the Malindi district hospital said the pastoralists attacked them abruptly, catching them unawares. "Fifteen of them, were armed with AK 47 riffles while over 20 others were armed with spears, those with guns," said Godhana.
The farmer said the villagers were forced to flee their homes. "One woman died on the spot another one died while undergoing treatment at the hospital," he said. He blamed the government for failing to take action quickly to avert the clashes despite the fact that there were GSU personnel who were dispatched in the area.
Godhana also accused the government of siding with the pastoralists because of their massive wealth while they were poor farmers depending on farming and fishing activities. Dima said 22 who is also admitted at the hospital with chest injuries said they had not received any support from the government.
Dor Geoffrey mwakiop from the Malindi district hospital confirmed to have received four patients at night adding that one had been transfered to Mombasa's Coast general hospital. "The patients remaining are out of danger, no one has any bullets inside his body and they are reponding well with treatment. Tana River OCPD Joseph kavoo confirmed the clashes sayiong they had dispatched a team of security personnel to contain the situation.