Thirty two-year-old army man, Haron Tiony, was frustrated when his uncle and aunt couldn’t give him answers on how one-fifth of an acre of family land was sub-divided, resulting in him being locked out of the share.
Mr Tiony had promised, upon repossessing the land from his uncle and aunt, that he would register it under the name of his mistress, 30-year-old Dorcas Chepar, who is also an army officer attached to Moi Barracks in Eldoret.
However, Mr Tiony’s several attempts at seeking answers on who between his aunt and uncle was hoarding the parcel of land, bore no fruits, compounding his anger, leading to the multiple killings.
A tussle over the piece of land dates back to 2017, when Mr Tiony’s father died.
The dad and three of his brothers, including the uncle that Mr Tiony shot dead and the husband of Mr Tiony’s now-late aunt, had agreed to sell and share proceeds from 8 acres of land in Jua Kali area.
However, one-fifth of the land remained unsold, but its specific ownership remained contested, with both Mr Tiony’s uncle and aunt allegedly claiming ownership of the land.
After returning from a peace-keeping mission in Somalia recently, Mr Tiony embarked on following up on the disputed piece of land, a follow-up that culminated in the death of four on Tuesday, April 30.
According to Kamagut sub-location assistant chief David Cheruiyot, Mr Tiony, a married man, had promised to give Ms Chepar the land, where he would build her a house.
Until that pledge, Ms Chepar lived in a rented house at Jua Kali area, where she had stayed for two months since moving out of the barracks dormitories.
And on Tuesday dawn, Mr Tiony said he had had enough of the “cat-and-mouse games” with his aunt and uncle over the disputed parcel of land, and vowed to “settle the matter once and for all”.
It was then that he picked his rifle, got into an army Toyota Landcruiser and drove to his aunt’s house within Jua Kali, where he knocked on her door, but the woman in her early 50s declined to let him in.
Angered, Mr Tiony fired bullets randomly into the air while vowing to eliminate his aunt.
It was at that point that his lover, Ms Chepar, who had accompanied him, tried to restrain the KDF man to no avail.
Upon overpowering his lover, Mr Tiony shot her in the head, killing her on the spot.
Mr Tiony then broke down the door of his aunt’s house, confronted her before pumping at least 30 bullets into her body.
Mr Tiony, thereafter, drove to his uncle’s house, which is located not far from his aunt’s place. He then fatally shot the old man in the head as he opened the door.
Upon killing his uncle, he turned the gun on himself and fatally fired a bullet into his head.
Eldoret West OCPD, Zacharia Bitok, confirmed the incident.
According to Mr Bitok, Mr Tiony was a quiet man, who rarely got into fights with people.
The four bodies were taken to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary.
Following the deaths of his dad in 2017, the husband of the aunt he killed and the uncle whom he eliminated, there remains only one of Mr Tiony’s paternal uncles – a Mr Tinderet, who was the eldest among the siblings.
Mr Tiony’s father owned 10 acres of land at Kerotet in Ziwa area, Uasin Gishu County.
Mr Tiony was the second born in a family of four siblings.
A new allegation surfaced in Jua Kali area that Mr Tiony killed his aunt after she duped him of his Ksh1.2 million, an allegation that Kamagut sub-location assistant chief David Cheruiyot dismisses.
The rumour suggested that two of the aunt’s US-based children had borrowed Ksh1 million from Mr Tiony with a promise of refunding it with an interest of Ksh200, 000.
However, when the borrowers sent their mother Ksh2 million and asked her to give Ksh1.2 million to Mr Tiony; and use Ksh800, 000 on her upkeep, the woman allegedly pocketed the entire package, triggering anger in Mr Tiony, leading to the attack, suggested the rumour.
However, chief Cheruiyot says that rumour has been debunked, given it doesn’t explain why Mr Tiony shot dead his uncle, who wasn’t part of the arrangement.
Mr Tiony is a married man and shares one child with his partner.
(Reporting by Cyrus Sholim in Usian Gishu County; writing and editing by Brian Okoth in Nairobi)