Death of a middle aged man after alleged police brutality causes uproar

Some residents at the home of the deceased
Some residents at the home of the deceased

Residents of Konyao area, Kapchok Ward, North Pokot Sub County in West Pokot County have held demos after the death of a 27-year-old man after alleged police brutality.

Joseph Kungu, who hails from Maili Kumi na Moja in Trans Nzioa County and was a casual worker in the home of the nominated member of County assembly Mary Mulee, was detained and died some days after sustaining injuries. He was arrested and detained at Konyao Police Station after he tried to separate a scuffle between a police officer and a resident in a pub allegedly belonging to one of the police bosses in the area.

Angry residents carrying placards and singing songs marched on the streets of Konyao centre. They gave the government a one-week ultimatum to intervene in the matter and deal with the officers implicated in the arrest.

Led by Kapchok youth leader James Losili, residents called for justice and said a full investigation must be carried out, “We want justice done for Joseph Kungu. The three police officers from Konyao police post should be arrested within one week or we invade the police camp,” he said.

Losili said police officers in the region have been engaging in business and have forgotten to execute their constitutional mandate, “We are living in fear because of the increased police brutality and arrests,” said  Losili.

Nominated MCA Mary Mulee said that she received a call from the area OCS Musa Kimomboi, informing her that Joseph Kungu was in a bad state and he took him to Kacheliba Sub County Hospital, referred to Kapenguria County Hospital and later to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital Eldoret where he died.

Mulee faulted the police for keeping the victim in the police cell for two days without taking him to Court.

James Karumet, a community leader, condemned the incident saying that the deceased has left behind one child and a wife, Ms Jack line Chepangat, who is pregnant and is set to deliver anytime soon. She is currently staying in Kapenguria after she suffered high blood pressure.

One witness, Mr. Mark Ateya, said that a police officer and a resident were fighting over a girl, but he was beaten when he intervened, “He was beaten by three policemen and he was bleeding, one of the officers was called Michael Tangi and another Terer,” he said.

West Pokot County Police commandant Mathews Kuto said that IPOA has taken over the case and those implicated will be arrested and prosecuted. The deceased will be laid to rest at Maili Kumi na Moja in Trans Nzoia County on Saturday.