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Rising suicide cases among Kenya police officers raise the alarm

Police spokesman Charles Owino.

Suicide cases are on the rise in Nyanza and many of the victims are police officers, according to news reports.

Two police officers are among  the 10 people  who have killed themselves in Kisumu, Homa Bay, Migori and Siaya counties within a month. Experts are now warning that a growing number of victims are unable to  cope with work-related stress or problems in their personal lives.

The most shocking suicide incident occurred in Homa Bay last week when an Administrative Police constable killed herself and her two children aged five and two in what police linked to domestic problems.

Constable Judith Galland locked up herself and her children in their house, doused it with petrol then lit the fire that burnt them beyond recognition.

On Friday, Kisumu-based traffic police Constable Alfred Ndalanu was also reported to have shot himself at his residence over what his seniors believe was his fear of the outcome of a recent police vetting exercise.

Mr Ndalanu featured prominently during the vetting when he was put to task over his numerous financial transactions. He told the vetting team that he made extra cash by regularly being hired to escort statues of a Hindu god — which are highly valued — during religious processions.

Preliminary investigations showed that the officer had two bullet holes which travelled through the chin to the upper skull, even though five spent cartridges were found on his bedroom floor.

Initially, members of the public questioned how the officer could have shot himself five times on the head. But some security experts told The Standard on Sunday that the shotgun he used can fire several bullets in quick succession so long as the finger remains on the trigger.

In Migori, police have confirmed that a man took his life at his rented house in Paris Estate, Suna East Sub-county after his pregnant wife left him. Prince Fabish Ombonya hanged himself after he suspected his wife was having an extra-marital affair.

Earlier this week, the body of 26-year-old Alice Akinyi, a mother of three and Ombonya's relative, was found dangling on a rope inside her house in Muhuru Bay, Nyatike Sub-county.

Earlier this month, a Kenyatta University student committed suicide in Uriri Sub-county after losing Sh80,000 given to the student to pay fees, but which was used for gambling A week later, a middle-aged man threw himself in River Nyamome. Faith Nafula, a psychologist, says frustrations of modern day living is pushing more people to suicide. 

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