Residents storm police station, beat up cop over theft claims
By - Jan 1st 1970
There was drama at Ematiha Police Station in Navakholo Constituency, Kakamega County after angry residents stormed the station baying for the blood of a police officer alleged to have vandalised and stolen a car battery from a bishop’s car.
The irate residents stormed the police station looking for an Administration Police only identified as Kilwa who is said to have vandalised the car belonging to The Church of God Archbishop and stolen a battery with the help of his two accomplices who are said to be locals.
The cops had to run for dear life after locals overpowered officers at the gate and gained access to the station forcing the officers to call for reinforcement from Kakamega Central Police Station led by the Officer Commanding Station David Muita which hosts the police regional offices.
The alleged officer was rescued by his counterparts who dispersed the angry group of locals and took the officer to the main police station in Kakamega town some 15km away.
According to Archbishop Ernest Kitayi, he had come to attend the burial of one of the residents in the Ematiha area when his car developed a mechanical problem forcing him to park the vehicles along the road to look for a mechanic.
The Bishop decided to go and attend the burial service first before he could look for the mechanic.
However after the funeral, the man of God was shocked to find out that his car was vandalised and the battery was stolen and when he asked the police officer, he became so violent arguing that the car was parked on the wrong side of the road.
“I had come out of the funeral and decided to look for a mechanic but when I passed by my car I found a police officer around the car which was badly vandalised and the battery was missing. Upon inquiring where my car battery was he dismissed me and I retracted to avoid unnecessary conflict,” said Kitayi.
Kitayi, however, called the residents to help him find his battery and the people behind the vandalism of his vehicle.
“The residents who were coming from the funeral sensed something was amiss, they approached me and I told them of what was going on when things got out of hand when I confronted the police officer,” said Kitayi.
The Bishop says residents alleged that the police officers from the station have been frustrating them and even stealing from them.
“Things became worse when residents demanded the police to reveal where the battery was and returned it and it was revealed that it was at one of the local houses. Things got out of hand before other police came in to calm the residents and contain the situation,” he said.
However, residents led by Ingotse-Matiha Ward Representative Absolome Lumbasi said the bishop’s car was vandalised by a police officer with the help of two locals who colluded to steal from the residents instead of protecting their properties.
The residents said that after interrogation the alleged police officer only identified as Kilwa had given a battery to two of the locals to hide in one of the pool stations.
“When the bishop told us to help him get his car battery and those who had vandalised his car we found out that it was a police officer only identified as Kilwa who had given the battery to one of his accomplices to hide so that they can sell it,” said a resident.
“The two locals have been posing as a mechanic while stealing from residents and the police officer has been frustrating us so much that when we asked him why he had decided to vandalise the bishop’s car and remove the battery he was violent and the angry residents decided to bay for his blood before reinforcement officers came to rescue him.”
However, the residents said they would not sit down and watch police officers using locals to steal from the public instead of protecting them.
“We have found the battery; we want the one who had the battery together with the police to be held responsible if not we will ensure the police officer is transferred with immediate effect, save for his counterparts from Kakamega Central Police station who saved him but we wanted to teach him a lesson that no one can dare to emulate,” said an angry resident.
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