LEFT: Churo-Amaya MCA Thomas Minito. RIGHT: The bridge in Ol Donyo Sabuk along the border of Machakos and Kiambu counties where the missing MCA's body was found. PHOTO | COURTESY | MARY WAMBUILEFT: Churo-Amaya MCA Thomas Minito. RIGHT: The bridge in Ol Donyo Sabuk along the border of Machakos and Kiambu counties where the missing MCA's body was found. PHOTO | COURTESY | MARY WAMBUI
By FLORAH KOECH and MARY WAMBUI

The body of Churo-Amaya MCA Thomas Minito, who went missing three days ago in Baringo, was on Thursday found dumped under a bridge located at the border of Machakos and Kiambu counties.

The location is near the same spot where the body of slain city lawyer Willy Kimani was found dumped last year.

Mr Minito’s body was first sighted by school children on Thusrday around 4pm as they crossed the bridge on their way from school.

“The body was probably dumped a few hours ago from the time it was spotted, it was not hidden inside a gunny bag or paper bag, it was just lying there with some blood stains on the forehead. It could not have been swept to the spot by the river since the water levels are too low. The police later retrieved the body and took it to Donyo Sabuk funeral home,” said Ambrose Ngigi, a resident.

SMALL NOTE

“The body of male adult was retrieved and a small note found in his coat pocket bearing the name Thomas Loktari Minito of Churo-Amaya ward,” police say in their report.

“It (the body) had an injury on his head caused by a blunt object.”

The body was taken to Ol Donyo Sabuk Nursing Home awaiting a post-mortem as officers from Donyo and Kangundo launched investigations.

Mr Minito was reportedly approached by three people at a hotel in Kabarnet town on Tuesday afternoon while eating lunch with a county official from Tiaty.

According to Baringo County Assembly Deputy Speaker Douglas Kiplimo, the three men produced their identity cards claiming to be police officers and told him he was required to record a statement.

WHISKED AWAY

“The three men are said to have whisked away the ward representative without even issuing the warrant of arrest,” Mr Kiplimo said.

“We were informed of his arrest by the lady with whom he was eating lunch, which prompted us to inquire from the police at Kabarnet.”

The deputy Speaker said police in Kabarnet said no MCA had been brought to the station and no warrant of arrest had been issued either.

“This raised eyebrows and we had to make calls to different police stations to find out if there was such a person, but to no avail,” he said.

The death of Mr Minito comes barely three months after another Baringo MCA and a Tiaty MP aspirant were killed by unknown people.

Loyamorok Ward Rep Fredrick Cheretei and Tiaty MP aspirant Simon Pepee Kitambaa were killed by armed criminals.

KILLED AT A NIGHTCLUB

The two politicians from Tiaty Sub-County were shot dead by hooded gunmen at a nightclub in Marigat town.

“There is a worrying trend in this county where political leaders are killed anyhow,” said Tangulbei/Korosi Ward Rep Peter Amasile.

On Thursday, the MCAs stormed the county police headquarters demanding to know the whereabouts of Mr Minito.

Baringo County police commandant Peter Ndung’u said they had received reports of the missing MCA and they were investigating the matter.

“We have a report of the missing legislator, which was filed at 3pm on Tuesday,” he said.

He, however, warned politicians against inciting the public among the neighbouring communities in the region.

INCITE COMMUNITIES

“I know some politicians will start politicising the issue so as to incite communities to fight. Let me warn you to desist from commenting on the issue because you will be arraigned in court,” warned Mr Ndung’u.

The missing ward representative had been arrested a month ago in Kabarnet and taken to the Central Police Station in Nakuru County.

The legislator was suspected to have been behind the attacks at the Mukutan Nature Conservancy a month ago.

Mr Minito was accused of propagating hate, leading to the burning of the Mukutan Retreat Lodge in the Laikipia Nature Conservancy.

Before the arrest then, he was quoted in the media criticising the ongoing security operation to flush out illegal herders from ranches and conservancies in Laikipia County.

He claimed military officers had shot and killed thousands of animals grazing on vast private lands owned by white farmers.

Armed herders at the conservancy on the border of Laikipia and Baringo counties are reported to have carried out an extensive arson attack, opening fire on staff, including the co-manager of the conservancy.