Unimaginable horror has gripped residents of Bendera area in West Pokot County after a man allegedly killed his wife and two children and set their house on fire.
Neighbours reported that the suspect identified as Joseph Lokwang and his wife had been having frequent disputes which boiled over in the wee hours of Thursday morning.
One of the locals, Everline Cheyech, said she heard Lokwang’s wife screaming for help prompting her to raise an alarm alerting other neighbours.
According to witnesses, the suspect stabbed his family, set the house ablaze and attempted to take his own life.
“We found the door locked from inside. We managed to break the door but unfortunately, we could not save the kids because they succumbed to the fire. The wife was still alive when we broke into the house but we couldn’t save her. Lokwang was standing at the door with blood oozing from his neck,” Cheyech said.
The witness said Lokwang had stabbed himself but they managed to rush him to hospital with the help of police.
“The two are not drunkards, and we are shocked by how the man turned against his family. Such an incident has never occurred in this area, it’s really shocking,” she added.
Confirming the incident, West Pokot Police Commander Jackson Tumwet said the caretaker of the rental houses, Geoffrey Plimo, called officers at Kapenguria Police Station reporting that Lokwang had locked himself in his single-room house and ignited a fire.
“The police rushed to the scene and were able to rescue him and his wife with the help of members of the public. Both had multiple stab wounds and burns. Two of their children were burnt beyond recognition,” he said.
The couple was rushed to Kapenguria County hospital where the wife was pronounced dead on arrival. The suspect was admitted in critical condition under police guard.
“The three bodies were moved to Kapenguria County hospital morgue awaiting postmortem. We suspect the motive of the incident is a domestic issue,” said Tumwet.
Area village leader, Santos Madalo, called on warring couples to seek help instead of resorting to shocking acts of domestic violence.
“I urge members of the public to resolve family differences amicably and seek help from authorities. We are yet to come to terms with what transpired,” he said.