Calm returns to Masimba as KWS drive away elephants (Kenya)


Kurgat Marindany, The Star

Date Published

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Calm has returned to Masimba town, Kajiado County after two choppers from the KWS and KDF drove away 42 elephants from habitation areas Saturday evening.

The “Ondoa Ndovu” operation ordered by Interior CS Fred Mating’i Friday seeks to flush out menacing jumbos in Masimba, Kiboko and Merrueshi areas where the animals have killed five people in the last two years.

Matiang’i order came after four demonstrators were Thursday killed by GSU personnel as they demonstrated on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway against inaction by the KWS in dealing with the elephants.

The four died on the spot while seven others suffered bullet wounds.

On Sunday morning, families of the slain people released the names as Letomir Topoika, Ntidu Tereu, Duncan Koinari Munke, and Dennis Mutua Matheka.

The teacher who was killed by a jumbo about nine days ago was given as Felix Kilapae Moloma.

Moloma was attacked at night by an elephant as he walked home from school.

No burial date has been set for any of the victims.

On Friday, Matiang’i said the government will foot the burial cost of the four people shot in Masimba and pay the hospital bills of the seven people who were wounded and admitted at Makindu Hospital. 

He also ordered the IG Hillary Mutyiambai to initiate an investigation into the killing of the four demonstrators in Masimba town.

On Saturday, the IPOA CEO Elema Halake joined his investigation team at Masimba to ensure rapid investigations.

A senior officer from GSU headquarters and the Mashuuru subcounty police commander, Ahmed Abdi and his DCI Officers were also present.

The GSU officers who are being investigated were heading towards Mombasa in three vehicles when the incident occurred.

Eyewitnesses claim they arrived at the demonstration scene with sirens blaring, seemingly angering the demonstrators who were mourning the teacher’s death.

Communities living next to protected areas lose half of their crops to elephants and other wild animals and are often dependent on food aid.

Matiang’i while in Masimba ordered relief food to be taken to the local people whose crops have been destroyed by the jumbos.

Other than the threat to human lives, the elephants have also destroyed nearly all water wells, streams and water reservoirs belonging to farmers in the Masimba and Merrueshi areas.

Matiang’i also ordered all the 7 primary schools that had been closed down because of the jumbo menace to be reopened.

“The Kajiado county commissioner, Wilson Wanyanga will work with the Tourism PS Zainab Hussein, KWS director-general John Waweru and the county police commander, Muthuri Mwongera to ensure the schools are opened,” the CS said.