A 23-year-old man collapsed and died in Kwale County yesterday as the National Police Service picked 10,000 new officers.
Mwarika Rika Mwalimu became paralysed and collapsed at Kwale’s Baraza Park after running six kilometres, as thousands of desperate youth countrywide tried their luck to join the force.
The officer in charge of the exercise, Mr Moses Awiti, said Mwarika had presented himself for the recruitment exercise earlier in the day after which he was taken through several tests.
“He was part of those who had been cleared and took part in a six-kilometre run,” said Awiti, explaining that the deceased, who hailed from Godoni Village, had completed two stages of the recruitment and had been recommended for the six kilometre race.
“On arrival at the finishing line, he collapsed and we rushed him to Kwale Hospital and unfortunately he passed on,” said Awiti.
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A medical official who asked not to be named said the victim died of low blood pressure.
Hundreds of young men and women in Mombasa were disqualified for either being too short or lacking academic qualifications.
Most of them failed physical tests, including one for athletic fitness. There were reports that just ten women were recruited in the entire county.
In Kericho, hundreds braved a heavy downpour as they kept their hopes of recruitment alive.
The Kajiado Administration Police (AP) commander, Philemon Mboya, who was the chairman of the Ainamoi Police Recruitment Committee, said no cases of forgery were detected.
“None of the aspiring policemen and policewomen was turned away for presenting falsified identification or academic documents or arrested for attempting to bribe their way into the force,” he said.
In Naivasha, scores of youths were turned away at Kihoto grounds for being too short. This was unlike in the past when prospective recruits were locked out over the colour of their teeth.
An officer, who declined to be named, said the set standards for men were 5.8ft and women 5.3ft.
There was drama in Narok after some recruits protested their dismissal for failing to meet the height requirement.
Four recruits who had sneaked back after being disqualified in the exercise were kicked out.
In Kisii, the exercise was marred by low turnout as less than 400 youth braved the chilly morning weather at Gusii Stadium to attend the exercise.
In Nyeri County, about 300 youth, among them among five university graduates, tried their luck at Chaka in Kieni East to battle for the 20 slots.