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Felled Recce Squad officer got married just three weeks to his death

By Erick Abuga | July 16th 2016
Dennis Momanyi, the 30 year old Recce Squad officer killed in kapenguria police station shot out on Thursday morning. (PHOTO: ERIC ABUGA/STANDARD)

General Service Unit recce squad officer who was killed by a rogue police officer in Kapenguria on Thursday had been married for just three weeks.

Dennis Orobo Momanyi, 30, and seven other police officers were killed in an attack at Kapenguria Police Station in West Pokot County.

He had tied the knot with Edinah Morangi on June 17 at Kiamoso SDA Church, Kegati, in Kisii County.

He had planned his wedding for July last year but left for US for a three-month training programme after which he returned to Kenya in December.

Momanyi and his colleagues had been flown from Ruiru to Kapenguria on Thursday morning on a mission to rescue police officers and suspects who had been held hostage by a gunman.

It was through their bravery and skill that the rogue officer, Abdi Hakim Maslah, who had taken a vantage position at the police station and held the rescuers at bay for eight hours, was shot and killed. Momanyi was also shot dead in the process.

Mourners thronged Momanyi’s rural home in Ibucha, Bogichora Ward in Nyamira County yesterday to console his family. They fought back tears as they remembered the slain officer who many described as a disciplined and down to earth person.

His father, Christopher Momanyi, had just stepped out of the compound to travel when he got the news that his son had been killed.

Dennis’s mother, Josephine Nyanganyi, described her son as hardworking, innovative, honest and humble.

“He has left a big gap in our family. It is painful that he has left behind a young wife,” said the mother.

Nyanganyi said Dennis had offered to pay school fees for his last born brother who was due to join university in September.

“He has supported the family for a long time. Despite all the challenges that come with his job, he visited the family and offered us financial and moral support all the time,” she said. Momanyi joined the GSU in 2010 after a two-year stay stint at the National Youth Service.

He went to Ramba Primary School before joining Matongo High School and later Nyasabakwa Boys where he sat his KCSE in 2007.

Early yesterday morning through a Facebook tribute by the Recce Company, Momanyi’s colleagues said: “RIP Officer Dennis Momanyi of Recce Coy Ruiru. It was just the other month that you got married and now you are no more.” The post further read: “You have left us too soon, but may your soul rest in peace. Our condolences to your wife and family. We will never forget you and the ultimate sacrifice you made.”

Bogichora MCA Beuttah Omanga condoled with the family and called on the government to assist the family.

“The Inspector General owes the family an explanation. It is unfortunate that a newly-wed and young officer can die in the hands of his fellow officer. He died a hero,” said Omanga.

Momanyi will be remembered for bravely engaging Maslah who had walked into Kapenguria Police Station where he worked as a constable and opened fire, killing seven of his colleagues, including OCS, Vitalis Ochido.

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