Policeman commits suicide as disgruntled female colleague is sent on leave

A police constable committed suicide in his house under unclear circumstances in Ruiru, Kiambu County.

Constable Samuel Muthoka used a rope to hang himself in his house. His body was discovered on Saturday.

He served as a driver in the area and had not expressed any form of frustrations, his colleagues said.

Ruiru Sub County Police Commander Phineas Lingera said they are yet to establish the cause of the suicide as the officer did not seem troubled.

Muthoka was supposed to be on duty on Saturday morning. After he failed to respond to calls, his senior is reported to have gone to his house and found him hanging.

This is the second suicide case at Ruiru Police Station. Another officer last month took his life after his seniors allegedly recalled him from leave denying him permission to take his child to school.  Cases of suicide are on the rise in the service amid calls for closer supervision and monitoring.

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In Kakamega, a female police officer who shot a video sharing her troubles has been sent on leave. Police authorities said she would be taken to a psychiatric to establish if she is stable.

Sergeant Jane Asimitisi emotionally spoke about discrimination and harassment, daring her superiors to fire her.

Asitimitisi said she was fed up even with the code of silence and protocol that bars junior police officers from speaking to the media and decided to speak her mind regardless of the consequences that she knows will follow.

A meeting was held at police headquarters over the video and a decision made to allow her to go on leave.

She will be on leave for a month after which she will be subjected to medical tests to establish if she is fit to be in service.

“There is nothing like being assigned lucrative jobs as she claimed. She must explain what she meant at the right time,” said a senior officer who asked not to be named.

The National Police Service (NPS) has introduced a counselling programme to help manage stress and check increasing cases of suicide among officers.

Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai said the NPS had established Service Counselling and Rehabilitation Centre to address psychosocial problems affecting its members.

Mr Mutyambai said the programme would first be rolled out in Nairobi before being spread to the rest of the country.

Mutyambai asked officers to seek help instead of opting for suicide.

“Talk to your friends, colleagues, relatives and anyone that can help solve an issue that may be disturbing you. Male officers are the most affected because they don't talk. They need to open up,” he said.

The programme follows a study NPS has done to establish possible causes of suicide among officers.

National Police Service Commission CEO Joe Onyango said they were keen to understand the causes of stress that drove officers to suicide.

“Among other things, we will focus on what should be done before police officers are transferred to hotspots and see the interventions we can make before officers are integrated with their colleagues," said Onyango.

Police authorities, in 2016, received a report on the causes of shootings by police officers targeting their colleagues.

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Samuel MuthokaRuiru Police StationJane AsimitisiPolicemanSuicide