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Police open fire on five killing one

By Peter Ochieng | March 4th 2014

By Peter Ochieng

Eldoret, Kenya: Residents of Kipngetiet, Nandi County have expressed displeasure over the killing of a middle-aged man, allegedly by police officers on patrol.

Four other men sustained injuries after police mistook them to be armed thugs and opened fire on them. 

Joshua Keter, who had been with the group before the incident, said Nathaniel Kosgei, a renowned international marathoner and owner of the car they were travelling in, had requested him to drive. He turned down the request as he was drunk and recommended that the deceased, Edward Kipchumba, drive as he was sober.

“It is unfortunate that the deceased whom I had recommended to drive the car was shot for no apparent reason, furthermore, he was not drunk and had dedicated his time to ensure safety of his friends,” he said.

According to Mr Kosgei, the police officers trailed them from a distance without showing any indications that they should stop. He said on reaching a nearby junction, the police car sped past them through the opposite lane before stopping and blocking them.

“The late Edward Kipchumba had earlier told us of a trailing car and because it was at night, he could not identify the car and neither did they signal us to stop,” he said.

He added: “We were ordered out of the car and told to lie down but surprisingly, the officers opened fire at Kipchumba (driver) and left the scene without speaking a word.”

Three hours later, officers in a convoy of 11 vehicles drawn from Eldoret and Kapsabet arrived at the scene and collected the body amidst displeasure from residents who had congregated at the scene.

Mosop MP Kirwa Bitok and former ambassador Stephen Tarus expressed discontent over the killings and urged immediate action against the perpetrators of the said crime.

Bitok claimed the attack could have been fueled by love relations gone sour between the athlete and one of the officers leading to the mistaken death of an innocent man behind the wheel, who was presumed to be the owner of the car.

“I have information from the residents that there has been ongoing competition for one lady between the athlete and one of the officers, the police should come clear on the matter,” he stated.

However in a swift rejoinder, Kapsabet OCPD Shem Muganda refuted the claims, saying they got a tip off from members of the public that two people had been hijacked by thugs aboard a car headed to Kabiyet from Mosoriot.

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