Friday, August 14, 2020
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Voi Night Guard Killed in Curfew Operation

Investigations have been launched into the mysterious death of a night guard at Maungu Lorry Park in Voi sub-county after allegations emerged that the victim succumbed to injuries arising from a brutal beating by police officers Friday night during the enforcement of 7pm-5am government curfew.
The body of the victim, only identified as Kazungu, was recovered Monday evening by neighbours at his rented room in Maungu shopping center along Nairobi-Mombasa Highway.
Residents claimed that Kazungu was assaulted by a police officer after he was found outside at the lorry park.
As a night guard, his work entailed patrolling the fenced park to guard shops and trailers that parked in the facility at night.
Over the weekend, Kazungu was claimed to have complained of body pains and aches before his lifeless body was discovered in a pool of blood.
A source at Maungu who declined to be named for fear of retaliation said the victim had been vomiting blood for days.
“He has been throwing up blood since the beating. We found his body yesterday,” said the source.
Other unverified reports claimed the guard was suffering from long-term tuberculosis and might have died from complications arising from the disease.
The body was taken to Moi County Referral Hospital awaiting post-mortem.
As the residents called for justice over the death, more reports emerged of residents who were attacked and sustained injuries by police on the first day of the curfew.
Ms. Fartoon Hillow, a shopkeeper at Maungu, said she lost a tooth after a blow from a police officer who found her closing down her shop past the curfew 7pm deadline.
“He knocked off my tooth. I was treated at the county referral hospital and reported the assault case at Maungu police post. No action has been taken,” she said.
Activists in the region have started compiling a list of people who were assaulted by police. Mr. Amon Mwapagha, a right’s activist, said there was a possibility of more assault cases but noted people were scared of reporting.
“They fear reporting will trigger retaliation because the culprits are known to the locals,” he said.
Speaking to KNA Tuesday, Marungu Member of County Assembly Mr. Paul Waweru termed the incidences as unfortunate and totally uncalled for.
He stated that he was facilitating the affected people to report and write down their statements before engaging with senior police officials in the region.
“It is true one man died from what residents say was beating. We have others who were injured and we will make sure they all record statements before we escalate this matter,” he said.
County Police Commander Saidi Kiprotich said a comprehensive probe has been launched to establish the victim’s cause of death.
He added that though some reports claimed the victim had an underlying medical condition, the police were not leaving anything to chance.
“A postmortem will be conducted to establish what actually caused the death and that will form the basis of any further action,” he said.
The police boss further disclosed that the matter was reported to Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) to start an independent investigations as a means of promoting transparency.
By Wagema Mwangi

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