By Kevin Tunoi
Those who live by the sword, sages said, die by the sword. However, for Edia Long’ore, a reformed cattle rustler in Turkana, the script reads differently.
He is fortunate that his story has a positive ending, despite traversing Turkana and West Pokot counties engaging in cattle rustling.
The activity, ironically, is blamed on marriage, a union in which peace is celebrated. In Turkana tradition, marriage is dignified and a married man is the envy of many since he proves he is both a warrior and a protector of his family.
Since time immemorial, the bride’s parents in Turkana and Pokot communities demand huge numbers of livestock as dowry. This is what triggers cattle rustling among pastoralists.
“My first attempt at the vice was when my friends realised we needed wives. But we lacked the cattle needed to pay dowry,” Long’ore said.
He did not own a gun yet, so he joined a group of 10 armed youths with bows and arrows. Some, however, had AK47s and G3 rifles.
Long’ore explained that they left their village at 6pm and walked through the bare, sandy, arid area towards West Pokot County. More....