Four shot as KWS officers pursue people fishing in Lake Nakuru

Unspent cartridge. [iStockphoto]

Four people including a Form Two student were shot by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officers in Barut, Nakuru county on Saturday evening.

The incident occurred during a crackdown on alleged illegal fishing in Lake Nakuru.

The incident has sparked protests with the locals demanding the arrest and prosecution of the officers who allegedly raided the area and beat up everyone in sight.

Barut borders Lake Nakuru National Park and the swelling lake has displaced many locals.

A section of the residents have resorted to fishing in the lake which KWS claims is illegal.

Beatrice Adhiambo, the mother of Barrack Obama, 15, said he was outside when the KWS officers arrived in two land cruisers.

“I saw my son fall and heard him call out my name just at the gate. He was writhing in pain,” she said.

Adhiambo claimed that she witnessed the officers shoot another boy as she was busy attending to her son.

She said that her son was not fishing and was not near the lake during the incident.

Another victim, Obed Luka,19, who spoke from his hospital bed said he was chatting with his friends outside the gate at around 6pm when he saw two land cruisers approaching.

He said they stepped back only to hear someone scream. It turned out the officers were allegedly assaulting a woman and started shooting randomly when Luka and his colleagues asked them to stop.

“The officers started shooting randomly, I felt numbness in my leg and fell. I lost consciousness and found myself in a hospital ward with my mother beside me,” said Luka.

He noted that about eight KWS officers were involved in the incident. Luka dismissed claims that they were fishing in the lake saying if they had committed any offence the officers should have arrested them.

Alvin Williams said he had taken shelter from the rains at a neighbour’s house when the officers knocked on the door.

“The officer ordered us to open the door threatening to break in, they left after we declined to open. Little did we know they were waiting for us outside. They shot at us immediately we came out of the house,” he said.

He said irate locals started hurling stones at the officers after they assaulted the people.

Damaris Huro, 62, claimed that the officers raided her home and killed a duck after they started shooting randomly.

Deputy County Commissioner Obed Mose who represented the County Commissioner said they are ready to have the officers arrested.

Mose revealed that the firearms used by the officers had already been confiscated.

He appealed to the locals to cooperate and record statements for action to be taken against the officers.

Nakuru Town West MP Samuel Arama termed the shooting barbaric.  The MP said the locals are not to blame as they were fishing on their land and not in the park.

“KWS officers are acting with impunity, the officers should stick to their boundary and safeguard the park and not terrorise locals in their homes,” he said.

He called for immediate arrest and prosecution of the officers involved.

Nakuru County Teaching and Referral Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Alphaxard Kemboi said that they received the four patients.

Kemboi said two patients will undergo surgery to remove bullets lodged in their bodies. He noted that three patients had bullet wounds on the thighs and another in the arm.

“The facility social worker is in touch with the relatives and they shall be taken care of. We will offer all the emergency services and they will be attended to. It is not a must that they pay,” said Kemboi.