Kipchomber arap Koilegen

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After the British colonialists killed Koitalel arap Samoei, they unwittingly employed one of his brothers Kipchomber arap Koilegen as a paramount chief for the location today known as Waldai.

Koilegen repaid the government’s treachery by secretly fuelling a rebellion. He snubbed meetings organised by the colonial DC after realising that he was being used to oppress his people by the same administration which had killed his brother.

When it became apparent to the colonial government that he was no longer co-operating, he was lured his from Kericho to Lumbwa station (now known as Kipkelion) ostensibly to meet the Nyanza Provincial Commissioner on January 7, 1914.

However, when he turned up at Kipkelion, he was to discover that his two brothers Arap Boisio and Arap Kibuigut too had been invited. They were all served with detention orders.  He was detained in Murang’a, Arap Boisio was locked up in Meru and Arap Kibuigut confined in Nyeri.

Koilegen’s detention triggered a rebellion in Kericho where he and his brothers was regarded as military and spiritual leaders. The locals were so outraged that 300 women confronted the colonial government on January 23, 1914, demanding to know who would bring rain now that they had imprisoned Koilegen. This was followed by locusts and drought which convinced the local people that Koilegen indeed had special powers.

On July 19, 1916, two years after his arrest and detention, the District Commissioner, Fort Hall, R Weeks announced Koilegen’a death. To date, his grave is unknown.