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WOUNDED FORCE? Work-related stress blamed for suicide cases among police

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Work-related stress is largely to blame for the surge in suicide cases among police officers, National Police Service spokesman Charles Owino said yesterday.

He said police work is replete with stress and traumatic incidents, placing strain on officers’ work and personal life.

“The availability of firearms and exposure to psychologically adverse incidents are some of the reasons for increased cases of suicide. Again, the police culture does not allow for any physical or psychological weakness,” said Owino.

At least 15 police officers have committed suicide this year, raising concern over the mental health of a force charged with protecting the public.

In the last two weeks, at least four police officers have committed suicide under unclear circumstances.

Suicide note

On Friday evening, a police officer attached to Tala Police Post committed suicide by hanging himself on a tree using his shirt in the outskirts of Tala town.

Constable Andrew Kiplimo, had been undergoing treatment for depression. Two hours prior to his death, his wife and another colleague had tried to convince him to reduce his alcohol intake.

And in another case on Thursday morning, Constable Edwin Wesonga shot himself dead using his official firearm, an AK-47 rifle, in Mandera.

The officer was attached to Malkaruqa Police Post in Banisa sub-county. The officer had just resumed duty after an annual leave.

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Owino however, said the problem was not limited to police officers.

“It is more of a societal problem than a police issue. More Kenyans are committing suicide but those involving police are more pronounced,” he told People Daily.

On May 26, AP Constable Jonah Kimani attached to Umoja II camp committed suicide inside his house. The officer shot himself using his official AK47 rifle which he had picked for patrol duties.

After getting the firearm, the officer went back to his house, changed into civilian clothes before writing a suicide note and turning the gun on himself. In the note, he claimed he was frustrated by a female friend.

Speak out

“Preliminary investigations point to suicide. There is a better way of solving issues and we urge officers to speak out,” Buruburu OCPD Adamson Bungei said.

Reports indicate that most of the officers committing suicide were junior officers who have not served in the service for long.

In January, a jilted AP officer, Constable Gideon Imanman 23, who was dating an underage girl shot himself dead in Naivasha. The deceased officer had only served for one year.

Another police officer accused of robbery took his life inside a cell at Nandi Hills police station. Constable Cosmas Kipchumba Biwott of Anti- Stock Theft Unit was being held at the station pending investigations into the claims.

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Stress due to work environment has also been identified as a major cause. An AP officer, for example, shot himself dead in Garissa after he was transferred to a volatile area despite having served in the region for three years. He had been transferred to Ijara AP camp.

“Police work may force officers to work far away from home and in remote areas. This requires a lot of sacrifice, especially with the meagre salaries,” said Owino.

There has been a challenge of the inability by the senior officers to identify and offer disturbed officers help.

A recent training needs assessment revealed that some commanders, who deal directly with the junior officers, are not conversant with management, counselling, station and financial management, and public relations.

“The commanders have been advised to closely monitor their juniors, and offer them necessary help, when needed,” said Owino.

The spokesman said some commanders have been trained on emotional intelligence to help them manage their own emotions, and those of their juniors.

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Open ditch along Ngong Road that is posing great risk to motorists

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A ditch that is unmarked along Ngong Road is causing havoc for many motorists.

In calls made by members of the public on various social media accounts on Facebook – many have lamented the great risk that the ditch is posing to motorists using the road.

On Thursday, Mr Martin Murithi, in a post on Facebook, asked the contractor to mark various parts of the road as construction continues.

“The marking of roads under construction are wanting, the contractors are really exposing motorists to danger,” he wrote.

Another Facebook user, Lemiso Emmanuel, asked motorists using the road to be extra careful.

“Unmarked ditch along Ngong Road. Drive carefully,” he posted.

various photos have also been shared of vehicles which have in recent times landed on the ditch.

BY Nairobi News

READ ALSO:   Chief arrested in Wajir for manipulating census
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Highest presidential honour

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Eliud Kipchoge was on Sunday celebrated by being awarded the Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (E.G.H.) by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Kipchoge was personally decorated by the president at the tail end of the head of state’s speech to commemorate the 10th Mashujaa Day celebrations at Mama Ngina Waterfront in Mombasa county.

“Eliud Kipchoge remains the greatest of our time. His latest conquest is a reminder that we can achieve our very best as individual and collectively as a nation,” President Kenyatta said as the audience cheered.

He then invited Kipchoge to the podium, shook his hand and draped him with the golden sash.

The Head of State also acknowledged Brigid Kosgei who recently smashed the women marathon record in Chicago.

Present at the event were Deputy President William Ruto, opposition leader Raila Odinga, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho among other distinguished leaders.

The Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya is the highest honour that can be awarded to a civilian.

LIVING LEGEND

Kipchoge recently became the first human being to run the 42-km marathon race in under two hours.

He timed an astonishing 1:59:40 in Vienna, Austria, in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge aimed at proving that no human is limited.

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“We are fortunate to a have living legend who also is an inspiration to all Kenyans. He achieved this through integrity and hard work,” said the President.

The president also honoured all journalists who play their proper role and urged scribes not to be corrupted in their role by receiving the infamous ‘brown envelopes’.

“Journalists should always speak the truth and avoid sensationalism,” President Kenyatta said.

President Kenyatta also commended Kenyan musicians, artistes and comedians.

By Nairobi News

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Keys to exams container stolen

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Lukenya Assistant County Commissioner, Elizabeth Karitu, was on Saturday night arrested after losing keys to container storing national examinations papers in Athi River, Machakos County.

Through a statement, Machakos County Commissioner, Elizabeth Maina, said Karitu was arrested when she went to report the loss of the keys at Parklands Police Station.

She has subsequently been interdicted.

Ms Karitu claims she lost the keys after thieves broke into her car in Nairobi and stole her handbag which contained the keys.

According Ms Maina, Ms Karitu claims she had gone to Avenue Hospital in Nairobi and when she returned she found her car had been broken into and her handbag stolen.

“She has been interdicted and efforts have been made with by KNEC to replace the padlock. Everything is under control and there is no cause for alarm,” Ms Maina said.

Standard eight candidates will sit the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams from October 28 to October 31,2019 while Form 4 candidates will sit the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams from November 4 to November 27, 2019.

BY NN

READ ALSO:   Chief arrested in Wajir for manipulating census
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