A Nakuru judge has fined an elderly man one camel for killing a fellow villager. Mr Justice Anyara Emukule ordered Leraas Lenchura, 89, to give the family of the man he killed a female camel or he would be arrested.

He was also handed a five-year non-custodial sentence during which he would be required to report to the area chief’s office once every two weeks.

The court heard that Lenchura had gone to the community borehole where he found a long queue of people waiting to fetch water.

While Lenchura was in the queue, Mr Lotiyan Lepakana, 55, came and requested to be given priority. The people allowed him to go ahead but Lenchura objected as it was his turn to fetch the water.

A quarrel ensued between the two men over who should be first.

The court was told that the quarrel degenerated into a fight during which the accused stabbed Mr Lepakana.

A doctor who conducted a post-mortem examination on Mr Lepakana’s body said the man died of excessive bleeding.

Justice Emukule said the accused, through lawyer Timothy Njogu, submitted that he was remorseful. The judge added that the defendant’s lawyer further said the attack was a spur of the moment.

The counsel for the accused had also submitted that there was no intention to kill since it was normal for the Samburu to move around armed all the time.

“Lepakana was also armed with a rungu which he used on the accused. I urge the court to temper justice with mercy and give a lenient sentence,” said Mr Njogu during the hearing.

Justice Emukule accepted the argument that water was a vital resource in the arid area and it was a matter of life and death.

“The inhabitants of these areas have the obligation to share the limited resources in a civil and orderly manner without fights and were it not for the advanced age of the accused, I would have given him a deterrent sentence,” said Justice Emukule.

The old man jumped with joy and promised to deliver the female camel to the family of the victim.

He also promised to report to the chief as directed.

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