Pastor David Matolo of the Redeemed Gospel Church in Garissa county has appealed to the Kenya Police Service to urgently enhance counselling within the force to tame runaway cases of suicide witnessed among officers in the past few days.
Speaking to KNA on phone Tuesday, Rev. Matolo said the rate at which police officers are taking away their lives is a matter that ‘should concern every Kenyan.’
The cleric was reacting to an incident in which a police officer attached to the Garissa police station shot himself dead, barely hours after a prison warder also turned his gun on self after killing a colleague police officer in a suspected case of ‘love triangle’ in Mwea GK prison, Kirinyaga county.
Matolo said that it’s high time the clergy were involved in counselling of traumatized officers before the situation gets out of hand.
“Police officers too are human beings and also encounter challenges in the course of their duty. Sometimes if they are not counselled properly from time to time, they are bound to explode and the results are what we are witnessing today,” he said.
“These are our sons, daughters, fathers and mothers. They have a socio-economic role to play in our midst other than keeping law and order,” added Matolo.
In the Garissa incident, the deceased police officer identified as Peter Kiprono shot himself using a G3 rifle. He was rushed to the Garissa referral hospital where he died while undergoing treatment.
The Sub-County Police Commander (SCPC) Joseph Muriuki confirmed the incident but declined to divulge more information.
However, according to a police officer attached to the station who sought anonymity, Kiprono had work and family related stress that could have prompted him to take his life.
Last Friday, another police officer, David Too attached to the Deputy President’s Office committed suicide in Ngeria, Uasin Gishu County, by jumping into a dam formed out of an abandoned quarry. Family sources said he jumped into the waters at 9 am as a result of job-related stress.
On Saturday night another police officer attached to Kamukunji police station shot dead a female colleague and injured another male officer during an ensuing argument before he fled the station. He was later hunted down and shot on the leg by colleagues to disarm him, before he turned the gun on himself.
By Jacob Songok