Police in Mumias are looking for a gang that abducted a secondary school teacher from his home in Shinoyi location, Navakholo sub-county, and murdered him several kilometres away on Wednesday morning.
It has emerged that Mr Ernest Opondo, 54, had jumped from the moving vehicle along the Ekero-Butere road to escape the wrath of the abductors and locked himself in a nearby house. However, the assailants pursued him and killed him in the home of Hamis Malala at around 11.30am.
Kakamega Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss Robert Murithi said they have identified the owner of the vehicle used in the abduction.
He said the victim was shot twice. “We recovered two bullet heads and two spent cartridges of 7.62mm special,” Mr Murithi said.
He said the motive behind the killing is unknown even though family members claim it is related to a land dispute . “We have taken the fingerprints for processing and confirming with the National Transport and Safety Authority to trace the vehicle, KCS 503L, used by the assailants,” said Mr Murithi. “We are taking statements from various people including his father and brothers who are said to have had disagreements with the teacher before his death.” The high school teacher was picked up by a gang of four men from his house.
According to his wife Maurine Atema, a teacher at Lirhanda Girls’ Secondary School in Ikolomani, the assailants — who were armed with rifles — held discussions with her husband inside their house before they dragged him out. They then hurled him into the boot of a waiting white saloon car parked outside their compound.
The deceased’s step-sister, Ms Violet Opondo, said the gang started beating him inside the house as they dragged him outside.
Ms Atema, who was at school at the time, said she was alerted about the development by her sister-in-law, Ms Opondo. “Even though we don’t have the evidence, we know who killed my husband. His decision to block the sale of land by his father and the step-family must be the cause of his killing.”
After receiving the news of Mr Opondo’s killing, residents of Emasinga village raided the home of one of his step-brothers, Mr Calistus Weremba, and torched his three houses.
They later moved to his father Peter Ndege’s house and took away three cows which were later discovered to have been burnt to death in a house under construction. The house belongs to Mr Ndege’s younger son Fredrick Opondo. The deceased was Mr Ndege’s eldest son.
Mr Ndege had sold one parcel of land to a private developer and another to Navakholo NG-CDF for establishment of a primary school. However, the deceased had moved to the lands office and put an injunction against the deals.
Mr Ndege said his eldest son had a dispute with his step-brothers after he allegedly engaged in an incestuous relationship with the daughter of one of them. He was later interdicted by the Teachers’ Service Commission over the case.