Religious leaders from various denominations in West Pokot County held special prayers for fallen soldiers who lost their lives during last week’s attack at Kapenguria police station.
The prayers that were conducted by Pokot Pastors Network and Imams brought together government leaders and residents in an emotional sendoff ceremony for the slain officers.
The slain officers; OCS Vitalis Ochido, Recce squad officer Dennis Momanyi, Corporal Wilson Karani, Corpral Gideon Ochieng, Robert Kinyua and Cornelius Rono lost their lives during the attack.
The religious leaders arrived at the station and conducted prayers at the scene where the six lost their lives before sanctifying the whole station.
Gospel singers and solo artists performed consoling songs to the families and friends of fallen soldiers.
“As Muslim community we condemn the heinous act and condole with families that lost their loved ones,” said Imam Abdullah Ali of Makutano Mosque.
The County leadership led by Governor Simon Kachapin ,County Commissioner Wilson Wanyanga and Kapenguria M.P Samuel Moroto said they will set up a monument at the police station in remembrance of the slain officers.
“The county government is going to set aside funds to set up the monument since the officers are heroes who died on the line of duty,” he said.
Kachapin also asked the national government to invest more in security to ensure that Kenyans are safe.
Kachapin called upon the government to devolve key security like the Recce squad to improve response at the local level.
“It’s a great reminder to Kenyans at large to be vigil and close to our children because many of our youth are being radicalized to join terror groups. We want the Recce squad in the counties so that it can be able to respond to incidents fast.“ Noted Kachapin.
Kachapin called on the security force to scrutinize the youths before recruitment to avoid having alshaabab followers and sympathizers.
“This is awake up call and the police should have high intelligence and do away with elements of radicalization to ensure the corruption does not happen during recruitment. Terrorism is now a threat to the whole world and it’s unfortunate that the wayward policeman wanted to leave the force one year after college,” Kachapin said.
The County Commissioner Wilson Wanyanga pointed out that the government will examine officers to ensure that those who are extremists are weeded out of the service.
He has also called on communities not to attack each other over insecurity as the government has put measures to mop up criminals within the society.
“Officers with questionable characters will not be allowed to manage roads blocks. We cannot continue putting lives of residents at risk because of selfish officers who want to enrich themselves,” said Wanyanga.
He assured residents that they are going to revise the type of officers manning road blocks in the region to ensure that criminals are eliminated.
“The roads shall be managed by intelligence, criminal investigation officers and police officers from other forces to help root out corruption,” he said.
Wanyanga condemned the incident citing that it’s unfortunate that the gunman was a police officer and noted that this is a unique and very unfortunate tragedy.
Kapenguria M.P Samuel Moroto called on government to install CCTV cameras in police stations to help enhance security.
Moroto also called on police force to include elders in the recruitment process.
“Elders know their youths well and can help in identifying genuine youths to join our force,” he said.
Last week on Thursday a rogue officer Abdihakim Maslah killed seven police officers at the station