Cherang’any: Journalists attacked in chaotic land dispute

It took about an hour for police to respond to the incident

A group of armed men order journalist to vacate a disputed piece of land at Sinoko village in Cherang’any Sub County on December 21, 2020. Photo/Aspect News

Two journalists based in Trans Nzoia County escaped death by a whisker while covering a land demarcation exercise that turned chaotic and left 7 people injured in Cherang’any constituency.

The two, Gerald Bwisa (NMG) and Ben Likami (Nyota TV) were forced to flee when a group of men armed with machetes and arrows stormed the disputed land to stop the exercise that was necessitated by a court order.

“It all started with one man within a group that is also claiming ownership of the land asking us to leave the scene immediately or lose our lives saying we should not meddle. Even the area chief was ordered to leave,” said Mr. Bwisa.

They scampered for their safety but while they were leaving they witnessed a very disturbing incident where one man had his three fingers chopped off to let go off court documents he was holding.

“The old man begged us to assist him upon which we rushed him to a nearby dispensary to have him get medical attention. We footed his medical bill since he had lost his money,” he said.

Mr. Likami said he almost left his camera behind after witnessing the firing of arrows by the youths who were instructed to clear anybody seen trespassing on the disputed 400 acre piece of land.

“What I saw today is so traumatizing. I am yet to come to terms with the fact that I managed to escape unhurt since I still don’t know how I managed to evade the arrows that were flying in the air,” he said.

The journalists reported the matter at the Kachibora police station pending police investigations to have the perpetrators brought to book.

The disputed 400 acre piece of land pits former State House comptroller Abraham Kiptanui and ex-Water Development minister Kipng’eno Arap Ngeny against a widow Betty Rono.