By Kevin Tunoi
Tension is high in Chebiemit in Elgeyo Marakwet County after forest rangers shot a middle-aged man to death inside the forest where he had gone to collect firewood.
Patrick Kibet succumbed to injuries in the 7am incident.
His son Evans Kiptoo, who had accompanied him, escaped without injuries after he hid in a thicket in the expansive Kapchemutwo Forest.
Keiyo OCPD Joseph Ireri confirmed the incident and said investigations were ongoing.
However, the Zonal Forestry Manager Keiyo Dennis Kerengo defended his officers, saying that they acted in self-defence.
The manager stated that after the officers nabbed Kibet, he hacked one of the officers in the arm with a machete, prompting the shooting.
“It is unfortunate that a life has been lost but then again the confrontation that was threatening the lives of the officers warranted the move in self defence,” he said.
Kerengo noted that his officers are well trained but if circumstances pose danger they too react.
Mr Kerengo added that the rangers have recorded statements with the police, while the injured officer was taken to hospital.
Kibet is said to have ventured into the forest to fetch firewood when he was attacked and fatally wounded.