Five watchmen were hacked to death on Saturday night at Kilingili market that borders Vihiga and Kakamega counties.
It was a forlorn morning for the families of the deceased, as people stood for long hours waiting for the bodies to be collected, halting any other activity in the market.
The incident happened 50 metres from Kilingili Police Station, which residents said was of no use to them.
“We just woke in the morning to find bodies scattered in the market. It seems some were running away, but the thugs caught up with them and hacked them to death,” a resident identified as Joseph said.
The deceased were identified by family members as Linus Anyiga (74) from Itemere village in Sabatia Constituency and Thomas Minao (70) from Lanaswa village in Kakamega.
Others were Francis Osayo (48) from Wamage village in Sabatia and John Ondachi (63) from Kaluni sub location in Kakamega.
Charles Kalume, 60, succumbed to severe head injuries while undertaking treatment at Vihiga County Referral Hospital at around 8am Sunday morning.
Of the five, Minao had worked for over 10 years in the market, while the others had worked for less than three years each.
Their bodies were not collected immediately until later at midday, while family members lamented of the insecurity that had robbed them of their loved ones.
Stephen Mboya, son to Thomas Minao, said it was unfortunate their father had met his death such gruesomely.
Alex Ondachi, brother to John Ondachi, said the deceased had left behind six children and asked for government to come in and help the families affected as they were poor.
“My brother has worked in the market for close to two years and it is sad that the thugs targeted him. He is a calm man and we don’t know why they killed him,” he said.
The incident came as a shocker to the locals and to the security personnel, who were forced to hold a meeting for close to two hours at Kilingili secondary school.
The incident drew the attention of both security personnel from Kakamega and Vihiga counties led by county commissioners Susan Barua (Vihiga) and Abdinuzak Jaldesa (Kakamega) who vowed to help restore the security of the region.
Residents lamented police laxity in the region while blaming them for the soaring insecurity.
“Police in this area are only interested in collecting bribes from chang’aa brewers and harassing boda boda riders and not ensuring we are secure,” a resident who identified himself as Dismas said.