Fear of Area Chief: Mixed reactions as snake bites fleeing suspect in Kirinyaga

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 24 Jun, 2021 20:19 | 2 mins read
Peter Ngure.Photo/K24 Digital

A middle-aged man from Kiandegwa in Mwea Constituency Kirinyaga county is nursing a wound on his thigh, after he was bitten by a snake in the evening of June 16 while trying to evade the area chief.

After getting bitten, he hopped on a boda boda and rushed to Kîmbîmbî hospital where he was admitted for about five days before being discharged.

According to Peter Ngure, the said administration official was accusing him of peddling bhang.

"When I saw the chief I had to hide in a nearby bush, then I accidentally lied on a snake hiding in the dry leaves," he said

But it is his daily activities that raise suspicion.

He catches snakes from the rice fields and takes them home, a practice he has been undertaking for years now.

"This is a talent that God gave me," he said

Even the area residents were shocked when they learnt that he had been bitten.

"When we heard about the unfortunate incident, we were shocked. We wondered what kind of a snake was that," says Mary Wambui, an area resident.

Ngure explains that he began catching rats in the fields before shifting to snakes.

He says that he has learned to trap as well as handle the animals over the years.

"Snakes hide under the rocks. So when I get to an area where there is one, I imitated the sound of a frog. The reptile comes out and I grab it.

People around here, rely on him to get rid of snakes from their houses and fields.

" Once I get hold of a snake, I take it home. I then begin the process of taking it," he says.

Following days or weeks of playing with the cold-blooded animal, a special bond is created between the two.

"People come here for entertainment, I play with a snake and they get entertained," he said.

The residents are requesting the Kenya Wild Life Service to hire him.

"We do not give him a lot of money once entertained, but if he were to get employed by KWS, he can benefit. And also serve the nation," said Karoki Karori, a resident.