Maasai market days are great fun. People get together with relatives and friends not seen for weeks, necessities like beads for making jewelry, cloth for wearing, and basic foodstuffs are bought and sold. The cattle market is where people find corn, their staple diet, since there is never enough milk to satisfy hungry stomachs. Tea, sugar, cooking oil, salt and other necessities are also available, and oh yes, and cattle, goats and sheep are bought and sold too.
But the cattle market at Esere some eight miles to the West of Endulen was anything but ordinary and fun on that day just a week ago. Two Irak “julusi” stock traders had trekked their herd of four cows and twenty goats from Mang’loa below the rift wall up onto the highlands near Endulen to sell them to Maasai at the Esere cattle market. It was a sunny beautiful day when a small group of Maasai “julusi” after some offers and counter offers agreed to buy the cattle for a good price. The Maasai not surprisingly suggested that they move off to a nearby dry river bottom for the exchange of cash. This is common practice and regularly done to avoid paying the government tax on livestock sales.
Off they went to the agreed place by the riverbed for to hand over the payment. The Irak never returned to the market and the Maasai haven’t been seen since. The two Irak “julusi” were found with their throats slit from ear to ear and various other deep slashes on their bodies. Within hours a large number of Irak warriors appeared prepared to do battle with the Maasai. This made possible by the recent cell phone explosion. And, Maasai warriors in their hundreds had gathered also. Fortunately, the police also have cell phones and they too arrived in force. It ended up a standoff with the police promising an investigation. The killers had disappeared and the cattle and goats with them. In the past, the incident would have resulted in all out war between the Irak and Maasai, now there would be an investigation. As of yesterday, the 6th of January, Nothing more has been heard of murderers or of the promised investigation.