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Officers on the spot after residents injured in raid

RIFT VALLEY
By Silah Koskei | September 4th 2016
Yusuf Kibet (left) and Wilson Samoei show injuries sustained during an operation by the General Service Unit (GSU) officers to arrest dealers of adulterated fuel in Sugoi, Uasin Gishu County, on Friday. [PHOTOS:KEVIN TUNOI]

Residents of Sugoi in Uasin Gishu County want action taken against General Service Unit officers who raided their homes and injured several people during a swoop.

The officers are part of a special Crime Prevention Unit that conducted swoops to net individuals dealing in fuel dumping which is rampant along the Nakuru- Eldoret- Malaba highway.

Turbo deputy Sub-county commissioner John Kinjo confirmed that 127,000 litres of adulterated fuel meant for the export market was impounded and four people arrested in Musembe during the Friday afternoon exercise.

While the operation was meant to stamp out a vice, the locals say the manner in which it was undertaken was brutal and inhumane and they are now seeking State intervention.

Wilson Samoei, a boda boda rider, said he suffered injuries on the face after the officers who were looking for the illegal dealers descended upon him.

“I was riding close to one of the joints suspected to be used for adulteration when the GSU men forcibly stopped me and asked me the whereabouts of the owners. They began beating me when I told them I did not know who owned the premise. They also  destroyed the motorbike that I had been borrowed,” he said.

Following the attacks, the father of four sought treatment at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and is still recuperating.

Speedy investigations

Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago visited the scene yesterday and called for speedy investigations into the matter.

Another victim, Yusuf Kibet 22, also claims to have suffered serious injuries in the hands of the officers.

“I am an orphan and came from Mt Elgon a few months to herd cattle in order to fend for my siblings. I was in a field adjacent to the targeted premises when I was ambushed and thoroughly beaten by a group of GSU officers. They later dragged and locked me in one of the houses after realising I could not walk,” said Kibet.

He says the officers insisted that he knew the owners of the abandoned premises and tried to even coerce him to provide details, but when he failed to do so, they beat him up.

Kibet says he sustained three fractures on both hands and the left leg.

Eusilah Ruto said the officers broke into her house demanding to know the whereabouts of her husband. She claimed  the officers also injured her daughter “Why did they have to use such force if indeed they wanted to nab the culprits? They also ate all the food in the house plus they also took some money and a phone after ransacking the entire house,” she said.

They residents claim two villagers have not been seen the officers descended in the area in more than eight vehicles. They want action taken on the officers because they meted excess force on innocent victims while on their mission.

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