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Police shoots former MCA over mask

RIFT VALLEY
By Osinde Obare and Martin Ndiema | September 28th 2021

Police officers from Kapcherop in Elgeyo Marakwet are on the spot after a former MCA was shot and injured on Monday evening at Kapsigilai centre in Cherangany.

Barnaba Lagat, a former Kiptoror ward representative, was allegedly involved in an argument with police officers from the neighbouring Trans Nzoia County.

The officers had crossed over to the trading centre and were reportedly beating up a youngster for breaching Covid-19 protocols.

According to eyewitnesses, Lagat rushed to the scene, but his intervention angered one of the officers who shot him in his upper left arm.

Chepsiro/Kiptoror MCA Kipchumba Birir said a group of officers from the neighbouring county had manhandled a local youth who was wearing a mask when the former MCA intervened.

Lagat's action prompted an argument before one of the officers shot him.

The officers, who were in a police car, retreated to their station after the incident.

Cherangany parliamentary aspirant Julius Tunduria said the former MCA was rushed to Ziwa health centre before being referred to Moi Referral and Teaching Hospital (MTRH).

Tension is high in the area, with residents threatening to storm Kapchorop Police Station to protest the shooting.

“How comes officers from another county could trespass to harass residents. We want the shooting incident investigated," said Tunduria.

Area MP Joshua Kuttuny condemned the incident and called for action against the officers.

Lagat served as MCA for Kiptoror between 2013-2017.

But Trans Nzoia County Commander Jacinta Wesonga said the officers were conducting a crackdown on counterfeit.

"The officers were conducting a raid on counterfeit goods when the public started to throwing stones at them, prompting the officers to shoot in the air," Wesonga said.

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