Another local, Mr Benjamin Kangog from Lamaiywe and a former police reservist, claimed that, since January, he has seen the white helicopter more than four times, with the latest being on Tuesday morning.
“It seems whoever operates it got wind that the locals were aware of its underhand dealings in the region and it stopped landing, but it hovers over the hill and we suspect it drops something before it leaves. It doesn’t take more than 10 minutes. Immediately after that, we will hear of an attack within the area or in neighbouring villages,” he claimed.
For instance, he said, after the Friday attacks in Kasiela that left two people dead, the helicopter was seen the following day heading towards Korkoron at 6:45 am and left after approximately 10 minutes
“During an attack, the criminals fight with police for hours without depleting their ammunition, which they use unsparingly, meaning that they have more than enough. Where then do they get a constant supply yet they live in the bushes? Powerful individuals are involved in this and the government must name them if peace is to be attained,” said Mr Kangogo who served as a reservist for three years.
Exchange of gunfire
He cited an incident in February where, together with tens of locals, they were building a road in the volatile Lamaiywe to enable security patrol in Korkoron and Tandar villages.
“We were under the watch of several police officers who engaged the bandits. There was a fierce exchange of gunfire between the criminals and the police for more than three hours, but, surprisingly, the bandits never run out of ammunition. An armoured police vehicle came to our rescue and they decided to flee,” he explained.
In a battle field, Mr Kangogo argued, one would expect combatants to use their ammunition sparingly, but the bandits are often extravagant with their bullets, engaging security officers for an entire day without running out of the ammunition, an indication that they have more than adequate supplies.
“This makes us suspect that the white helicopter may be replenishing their supplies,” he said. He further claimed that, sometimes, the helicopter passes through the area and heads towards Lake Bogoria and to Baringo North and, a day later, attacks are staged in the areas.
“If it is true someone is supplying ammunition to the bandits who are wreaking havoc in the region, then he is an influential person because no ordinary person can dare engage in such a risky affair and with a helicopter to boot, which must be expensive. We need an immediate probe, otherwise we will be wiped out by the criminals,” said Mr Kangogo.
Responding to the claims, Mr Maalim promised to investigate the matter and unravel who owns the helicopter and the reasons behind the frequent visits to the area.
“You have said a helicopter suspected to be bringing a consignment of ammunition to the bandits disguising as herders has been seen hovering the notorious Korkoron Hills. The issue was also mentioned during our meeting with the county security team and I want to assure the locals that the matter is already under investigation,” hesaid.