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Seven killed in Kisii every month in land-related rows


Statistics released by the authorities show that at least seven people are killed every month in the region, bringing to 126 the number of people who have lost their lives in the past 17 months.

Police say the numbers represent cases reported between January 1, 2021 and May 2022. The incidents have left security officers in the county scratching their heads, with calls to residents to resolve their land disputes peacefully.

Since the Constitution made capital offenses bailable, offenders seem to have become more emboldened. Killing someone on the flimsiest grounds has become normal because people no longer fear being incarcerated while the hearing of their murder cases progresses.

Killings likely higher

Police say the killings are likely to be higher because the statistics they have are reported cases only.

Most of these land-related murders involve close family members. Shrinking land sizes caused by population pressure is partly to blame for the land conflicts.

Lack of dialogue and unresolved land disputes that take years in court have compounded the situation.

“Land is a very emotive issue in Kisii. People tend to take the law into their own hands instead of waiting for justice to take its course,” said Kisii County Police Commander Francis Kooli.

Kisii is one of nine counties that host more than 30 per cent of Kenya’s population, making them the most congested places in the country.

The population densities are based on the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics projections, which put the overall countrywide population at 47 million.

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