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Governor Tolgos survives gun drama

By Fred Kibor | December 20th 2018

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos takes an oath of office as governor at St. Patrick's High School in Iten. 21-08-2017. [ File, Standard]

Governor Alex Tolgos narrowly escaped death after a drunk forest guard threatened to shoot him.

The governor (pictured) on Tuesday was inspecting a project in Cherang'any's Chebororwa Ward when he was confronted by the drunk officer, who was then dressed in civilian. He warned the governor and his entourage against setting foot on Takwei Primary School since the institution was within a forest station.

"Mnataka nini hapa? (what do you want here)" the ranger asked the governor's entourage.

The school Tolgos was visiting is adjacent to the forest station where the guard is attached.

The officer hurled insults at the governor and threatened to enter his house and bring out a gun.

The officer then disappeared, only to resurface donning his jungle jacket, and armed with a G3 rifle. He was yelling.

He cocked his gun and aimed it at the governor, but other wardens wrestled and disarmed him. He was locked up, as the governor continued with his inspection tour.

After the incident, the angry governor said the forest rangers should be moved out of the school compound immediately.

"We can't allow this to happen... how can we have security officers living in a school compound especially when they are this drunk," said the governor, adding that he would raise the issue with the Kenya Forest Service headquarters.

Locals claimed the rangers were burning charcoal and engaging in illegal logging.

"The drunk officer was perhaps irked by the presence of the government delegation and most likely feared that their visit could expose their illegal activities in the forests," said a resident.

According to Takwei Primary School head teacher Stanley Rutto, cases of the officers firing in the air whenever drunk were common.

"As from 5pm every evening, we are treated to sounds of gun shots. We are almost accustomed to it," said Mr Rutto.

According to Rutto, whose school has about 200 pupils, the forest guards also fired in the air in the evening when returning to their houses, which are adjacent to ECD classes.

He said a similar incidence happened towards the end of last term when one evening an officer shot in the air and threatened to kill anyone in sight.

"Everyone was scared. I had to sleep in the school with the teachers as pupils ran for their lives," he said.

Cherangany/Chebororwo MCA Tich Cheboi said he had established that officers often transferred to the post had disciplinary issues.

Area assistant chief Joram Kipruto said the officer, commonly referred to as Omwami, had also threatened him.

However, KFS North Rift enforcement commander David Rono said senior officers had been sent to the station to investigate the matter and disciplinary action would be taken, including dismissal if the officer was to be found culpable.

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