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Family seeks justice for boy shot in stomach by stray police bullet

By Silah Koskei | November 14th 2016
Hussein Adam (left) with his son Abdi Adan. Young Adan was shot in the by a stray police bullet last month in Eldoret.  The family of the 15-year-old boy is seeking justice for their son. (PHOTO: KEVIN TUNOI/ STANDARD)

The family of a 15-year-old boy shot in the stomach by a police officer is seeking justice for their son.

Abdi Adan’s fresh cut that is still bandaged has been the subject of unanswered questions for the past one month. 

It all started as a normal day for the Standard Seven pupil of Emkoin Primary School in Kapsaos.

A train ferrying wheat to Uganda derailed and as the public scrambled for freebies, one of the police officers at the scene opened fire at the crowd to disperse them and protect the cargo.

“I had just come from school in the evening when I decided to go and play with my colleagues in our usual field. All of a sudden, police started lobbing tear gas at a surging crowd that sought to fetch wheat from a derailed train whose container was open,” said young Adan.

He added: “We took cover with my friends but suddenly I felt a sharp pain in the stomach and weakness before I fell, unconscious.”

Even as he hopes for speedy recovery of his son, Hussein Adam is seeking justice in what he termed an unlawful act by police officers.

But the officers insist the boy was injured by a stray blank bullet that was used to disperse the crowd.

Adan recalls waking up in a hospital bed, unaware that he had been shot by police. As he writhed in pain, doctors advised that he had to undergo an operation in order to save his life.

“A passer-by rushed me to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) for treatment before my friends informed my parents, who were at home at the time of the incident,” he noted.

The second-born in a family of five said the shooting, which has now turned to a lifelong scar, cost him this year’s examinations, which were crucial for his transition to Standard Eight.

“The one who shot me ruined my life. Though I am recuperating, the incident has brought nightmares. I have difficulties in walking and I am being forced to take light meals to avoid interfering with the healing wound,” he said.

Blame game

The boy’s father said the bullet, according to the doctor’s report, damaged the large and small intestines.

Mr Adam said his son spent a week in hospital and because of lack of funds, he had to seek assistance from the local mosque.

“My wife and I have no job and we had to beg in order to have our son treated. What is more disheartening is that even after the incident, we have not received any communication on whether they will compensate us,” said the 41-year-old.

Adam said they reported the matter at Baharini police post but they were yet to be told who shot their son.

Adan’s mother, Halima Abdulahi, said attempts to unravel the truth have been difficult, with police in Eldoret heaping blame on officers based at the Railway section.

“I want justice for my son who wants to be a doctor later in life. The police should tell us what action they have taken on the officer who shot him and compensate the family because he was not stealing wheat but playing with friends. He did not deserve such an act,” she said.

Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) North Rift chairperson, Sheikh Abubakar Bin, condemned the incident and called on the police to be in the forefront protecting the citizenry.

He called on the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) to investigate the matter and bring to book the officer responsible for the heinous incident.

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