IPOA launches probe after teacher was shot dead on Christmas eve

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 29 Dec, 2023 16:56 | 3 mins read
IPOA launches investigation into teacher's death following public outcry.
IPOA logo. PHOTO/IPOA Website

The Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) has launched an investigation into Kegonga police station over the death of a teacher on Christmas Day, bringing an end to two days of chaos.

On Wednesday, IPOA and Kuria East MP Marwa Kitayama held a town hall meeting in Kegonga town, during which youths removed boulders and vacated the station precincts after investigations commenced into the death of Samuel Muturi, 33.

“We have launched an investigation into the incident where the teacher died. We have started receiving statements and will move swiftly to ensure that justice is served,” Wilson Obong’o, an officer with IPOA stated.

He mentioned that they would gather statements from the deceased's family, witnesses, the police officer who fired the fatal shot, and colleagues who were present during the patrol on that fateful night.

“We wish to call on residents to restore peace and calm, we have talked with local leaders to end two days demonstration as we will expedite investigations,” Obong’o said.

Kuria East Sub-County Commissioner Richard Ojwang said on Wednesday morning that they ensured officers suspected of killing the teacher were disarmed, and investigations were launched.

“On Wednesday morning, there was a fresh demonstration because locals claimed that the same officer, whom they suspected to have shot the teacher, was armed. We intervened, and he surrendered a G3 rifle and three tear gas canisters,” he said.

Kitayama said that, as local leaders, they will ensure that Muturi's case is the last extrajudicial killing in the Kuria area.

“We want to ensure our kin gets justice and we want to categorically tell our police officers that as leaders we have put in place good working relations with police which will not be affected by recklessness,” Kitayama said.

He stated that the Kuria region was notorious for high cases of cattle rustling and illegal guns. However, this was put to an end by ensuring the construction of a modern police and security headquarters in Kegonga, funded with a Ksh60 million allocation from the NG-CDF kitty.

“We managed to end cases of lawlessness by ensuring the public respects police and the rule of law. We don’t want this image to change that is why all culpable officers should face the rule of law,” he said.

On Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, angry residents blocked roads in Kegonga town, which connects Kenya to Tanzania, using boulders and twigs before engaging in running battles with the police, leaving them marooned at Kegonga police station.

Residents said a group of police officers were engaged in a bar room brawl with residents on Christmas night and were engaged in a fight before it ended in the fatal shooting to death of Samuel Muturi, 33, a local teacher.

“It was around midnight and I went to pick Mwalimu and his brother at a Club called Vannah and when I was riding home several police officers accosted us,” Samuel Simange, a rider said.

As they attempted to ride away, they hit a pole. They managed to run with the deceased's brother before he was shot dead.

“I ran and a female police officer chased me, I was lucky to scale a window of an unfinished house which saved my life, the teacher was not lucky,” he said.

IPOA probes police

The police reportedly fired two shots, with one bullet hitting the deceased in the back, exiting from the front, ultimately causing his immediate demise.

Naomi Ghati, the sister of the deceased, mentioned that she was informed by a child as they were preparing to go to church that the deceased had passed away.

“We had high hopes that he was going to get employed and help us, how he died is shocking,” she said.

But on Tuesday, Kuria East police boss Patrick Njoroge refuted claims that the death was caused by extra-judicial killings.

“At about past midnight we received a call that a group of people were robbing residents in Kegonga town, we acted swiftly and arrived at the scene,” Njoroge said.

He said officers found about 10-15 men in the area and a scuffle ensued where two shots were fired in the air “and unfortunately second shot caught the victim on the chest.”

He said so far they arrested three suspects who are helping them with investigations.

He said as officers they are tackling insecurity in Kegonga and already have several active robberies with violent cases in court and intelligence is monitoring several key suspects.

“We have hardcore criminals from the area who have been engaging in crime in a nearby town and they came back in the area, we have been monitoring them,” he said.

He denied claims of harassment by police in pubs saying he ensures patrols around the places adhere to the law.

The body of the deceased has been moved to Wima Mortuary in the area awaiting post-mortem examinations.