An administration police officer allegedly shot and killed a man days after a confrontation during a billiards game in an entertainment hall in Kegonga town, Migori County.
Witnesses claimed the officer, whom they identified only as Kikwai, had been trailing the victim, Alex Omari Kimati, and caught up with him at Kegonga market at around 10am on Monday. Police, however, gave a different account.
Residents alleged that the two quarrelled last Friday and that the officer, who was based at Kuria East police divisional headquarters in Kegonga, vowed to deal with Mr Kimati.
Those who witnessed the shooting said Mr Kikwai fired twice at Mr Kimati using a rifle, killing him on the spot.
“The officer had been roaming around the town, asking for the whereabouts of this man after their fight in a pool hall last week. He met the man here today and shot him,” one said.
Kuria East divisional police commander Ahmed Abdikadir denied the residents’ account of events, saying Mr Kimati was a known robber and that he had committed several assaults.
Mr Abdikadir said the officer shot him after he resisted arrest and attempted to grab his firearm.
“The man resisted arrest and physically confronted the police officer. That is when he shot him,” he said. He was a notorious robber so police had been looking for him. He also had a number of assault cases and recently assaulted a police officer. The police officer did not have any disagreement with the deceased. That is not true.”
Scores of resident took issue with the police officer, claiming Mr Kimati was not a thief and that the officer was a known drunkard, who committed murder to settle personal scores.
“He earned a living as a construction worker. His only mistake was to argue with the police officer. The officer is a habitual drunkard who often picks fights with people,” said a boda-boda rider who did not want to be named.
Another witness said: “The deceased did not in anyway attempt to grab the police officer’s firearm. The officer, who was in civilian clothes, simply came to him and we heard him say, ‘I told you I will deal with you’. He aimed the gun at him and shot him in the chest.”
An officer, who spoke to the Nation in confidence also claimed Mr Kikwai told him he would deal with Mr Kimati.
“I thought he was joking only to hear that he had killed someone,” the source said.
The residents called for action against the officer, threatened protests and demanded answers from the police service on what they said was an extrajudicial killing.
Mr Kimati’s colleague said, “The police officer who has killed is known to threaten people after having differences with them in social settings. Why kill such an innocent man?”
The victim’s relatives also dismissed Mr Abdikadir’s report and called for justice.
“How could he have been a robber yet he moved around freely? Which robbery is he accused of? Police should tell us the truth. It is very painful for someone innocent to be killed in cold blood just because of a personal disagreement with police. We demand justice,” said a relative who sought anonymity.
Mr Kimati was a 33-year-old father of two who also lived with a grandparent in Kegonga town.
Nyabasi East Ward Representative Mwita Motangi said he knew Mr Kimati as a casual labourer.
“If the police had information that he was a robber, why didn’t they arrest him as the law demands? The man was not armed. The truth is the young man was not a robber. He earned a living from menial jobs. I have reliable information that the officer had a personal vendetta with him. We demand action against the officer,” said Mr Motangi.
The body was taken to Migori County Referral Hospital mortuary in Migori town.
Source link : https://allafrica.com/stories/201810290325.html
Publish date : 2018-10-29 12:51:59