19 January 2017

Kenya: Protest After Jumbo Kills Student in Laikipia

A form four student was on Tuesday night killed by an elephant that invaded a farm at Sironi village, Laikipia West Sub-County.

Isaac Kipng'eno, a student at Mung'etho Secondary School was in a group of young men driving six elephants from farms around 2am. The animals were from Marmanet Forest.

According Mr Francis Muturi, the group drove the elephants away but one of them emerged from the bush after a short while and killed the 17-year-old.

"We ran when the animal began chasing us. Unfortunately, it caught up with him when we dispersed," said Mr Muturi.

Angry residents engaged police and Kenya Wildlife officers in running battles for most of Wednesday.

They stopped the officers from taking the student's body from the scene.

The residents barricaded the busy Nyahururu-Ng'arua road at Maili Saba junction, causing a gridlock.

Kipng'eno is the second person to be killed by elephants in the area in less than a month.

Villagers demanded to know how Sh96.7 million set aside by the county government for the construction of a 60-kilometre electric fence around forest was spent.

"We want an explanation from Governor (Joshua) Irungu. Why should we suffer when we have elected leaders?" asked an angry Ms Purity Wangechi.

Laikipia West MP Wachira Karani arrived at the scene and pleaded with protesters to allow police to take the body to the mortuary. Dr Karani also wanted to know how the Sh96.7 million was used.

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