Security chiefs in Vihiga County have identified a 72-year-old criminal gang leader recently lynched by a mob following a robbery with violence.
County Commissioner Ochillo Oyugi said James Ing’ombe was the leader of a gang that has been terrorising residents.
The criminals are linked to the murder of a family of four in Busamo Village in late February. Ing’ombe, who hailed from Izava, was lynched on February 28 and his house torched.
Mr. Oyugi said Ing’ombe also served as the gang’s traditional leader and cleanser.
Police had been looking for the gang leader in connection with a murder in Emuhaya last October.
“He was involved in a spate of crimes and cleansed his gang after committing robberies and murders,” Mr. Oyugi told the press at his Mbale office, flanked by County Commander Hassan Barua, County Criminal Investigations Officer Joshua Cheptoo and County Intelligence Coordinator John Maina.
“He was being sought by police in Emuhaya. His matter had been recorded at the Divisional Crime Unit under criminal number 944/10/2020.”
So far, six gang members aged between 22 and 43 have been charged at the Vihiga Law Courts with robbery with violence. They were arrested following alerts from the public and will return to court on Monday.
In Busamo, four relatives who were killed were 40-year-old Kennedy Ambani, who had a business at Magada trading centre, wife Elizabeth Achieng’ (35), son Gifton (10) and daughter Ann (eight).
The gang has networks outside Vihiga, which makes it easier for members to escape after crime sprees.