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Homa Bay fishermen die after fight over Sh15 cigarette

A fight between two fishermen in Homa Bay County over a Sh 15 cigarette ended tragically when both of them died.

One of the fishermen was stabbed by his colleague before the other was assaulted by a mob who killed him after he was accused of murder.

The incident happened at Nyagina Beach in Rusinga East Location on September 16, 2023.

The two fishermen identified as Sikuku Odiko, aged 36 and Geoffrey Ngoje, aged 32 have been long-term friends.

They would sometimes go fishing together.

But on the fateful day, the duo disagreed over a cigarette when they started an argument before fighting.

Trouble started when Ngoje got cravings for cigarette.

He decided to buy a cigarette from a local shop on Nyagina beach.

He spent Sh 15 on the cigarette.

As he was smoking, Odiko who saw him going to the shop also craved smoking.

But he could not buy any cigarettes because he did not have money then.

According to Rusinga East Location Chief Mboya Owuor, the two fishermen could not share the same cigarette.

He said Odiko, who was watching as his colleague was smoking, tried to ask if he could smoke as well.

But the buyer could not let him smoke.

“He confronted his colleague for refusing to let him smoke yet he had the pangs to smoke as well. Both decided to argue about the issue before it turned tragic,” Mr Owuor said

During the argument, Odiko withdrew a kitchen knife and stabbed his colleague out of anger.

The administrator said the fisherman was stabbed in the chest, sending him straight to the ground.

“He died on the spot after being stabbed in the lungs,” Mr Owuor said.

Witnesses of the incident later decided to take security matters into their own hands.

As Odiko was still watching his friend catch his last breath, a crowd confronted him and started assaulting him.

Mr Owuor said he was stoned to death by other fishermen and members of the public.

A group of police officers were called to the scene to try and rescue the fisherman.

But they arrived late when Odiko was already overwhelmed by the crowd.

The mob insisted that he must be killed before the police took the body away.

Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo condemned the incident.

She asked beach management officials to take the lead in solving disputes between fishermen.

“It is unfortunate that we have lost two productive people in the lake. Police are always ready to offer solutions where there are problems so fishermen should seek help from authorities whenever there is trouble at the beach,” Ms Odhiambo said.

The bodies of the two fishermen were taken to Homa Bay County Teaching and Referral Hospital Mortuary.

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