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



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.

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

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.

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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.

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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VIDEO: Police arrest prison constable, two others with over 10,000 Sim cards



Police have Thursday arrested three people who were found in possession with over 10,000 Sim cards, four mobile phones and a laptop.

The three are currently being held at the Bondo Police Station in Siaya.

According to DCI, among the arrested is prison constable Charles Opollo Ndaga, who is based at Prison Headquarters.

The warden was arrested for irregular Sim Swap and Sim Card registration.

“Over 10,000 Safaricom Sim Cards registered under different names, two Equitel Sim Cards and three ID Cards, a laptop, several mobile phones, a cheque book among other items were recovered in his house,” police said.

According to the County Police boss Francis Kooli, the three were arrested following a tip off from the members of the public in Sinapanga, Bondo sub-county.

He said that they have already launched investigations to establish more suspects involved in the illegal business that involves the illegal swaping and registration of mobile phone sim cards.

Addressing the media at Bondo Police Station where the suspects are being held, Kooli said that one of the suspects is a prominent businessman in Bondo and an aspiring MP.

“We’ve already written to the Kenya Prisons Service Headquarters to confirm if the said suspect is still in service after it was alleged that he’s a prison officer,” said Kooli.

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He added that the three are helping them with the leads and that they will only disclose the names of the suspects in their custody after getting more details.

“This requires in-depth investigations that will involve the Cyber Crime and Anti-Fraud units that will establish how long the crime has been going on and how many people have been affected,” he added.

The suspects will be arraigned and charged accordingly.

According to the police boss, many people have lost money through such schemes.

“We are warning members of the public to be wary of such deals and in case there’s anyone who is suspecting to have been credit without his/her knowledge should report to police,” said Kooli.

He said that they have embarked on sensitization to members of the public against use of technology to commit crime.

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Introducing Baba Mboga



If you told Sydney Muhando last year that he would be running a fresh produce grocery city business, he definitely would not have agreed.

The online comedian and drama teacher who is also a video editor was on stage with his trainees in a competition when the first case of Covid-19 was announced in the country.

This was followed by indefinite closure of schools. For him, he knew it would only take a few days before schools reopen. It has now taken six months for candidates to resume their studies.

In the same period, Mr Muhando has grown his online business, Baba Mboga Deliveries, a name he says he chose because of its uniqueness.

Every morning, he wakes up at dawn to go to Wangige Market, one of the largest markets in Kiambu County where he gets assorted fruits and vegetables.

He then sorts them according to what has been ordered and packages them in bags ready to deliver to his customers doorsteps.

Social media pages

Most of the time, people especially in urban residential areas purchase their vegetables and other fresh products from local shops just near their homes commonly known as ‘Mama Mboga’.

“I stayed for two months without a job and life became difficult and  I knew I could not sustain myself for long. My friend had been sending me to the market to get grocery for him at a fee and that is how I identified the gap,”  he says.

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With a capital of Sh800 and running short of time, the 28-year-old started purchasing more food from the market, posting them on his social media pages to let his friends know about it. He then delivers them to his customers.

He explains that being a city, many residents hardly get time to go to the market, especially to get traditional or indigenous vegetables. There is also a growing culture for online shopping among Nairobi residents.

“In a city like Nairobi, most people are busy, so I took advantage of that to serve them in their own houses. Many people, were also scared of going to crowded market places fearing that they would contract the disease,”  he says.

Free delivery

For months, Mr Muhando has garnered a huge following both on Facebook and Instagram.

But it is not that easy to open and run social media pages for a full-time online business. Most businesses find it difficult to produce content to market their products.

Luckily, for Mr Muhando who is an online comedian, anything to do with technology is not so hard for him. It only took an hour to create and set up his Facebook account.

“It takes witty captions and for you to have a good camera. It is also important to post the prices. Without seeing the prices, the customers will not be interested in the products, especially if it’s a small business,”  he adds.

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He additionally posts the menu for his vegetables, with various discounts to attract customers including free delivery for those purchasing goods worth more than Sh1,000.

To have a variety and almost everything one needs in their kitchen, Baba Mboga apart from greens and fruits also sells spices such as ginger, garlic and onions, with starches such as sweet potatoes and arrowroots as well as eggs.

Invest in branding 

To grow his business, Mr Muhando says it was important to invest in branding for his audience to take it seriously.

He targets families and the busy clientele who could be at work or travelling. On a good day, he makes up to Sh2,000 after delivery.

In his recent innovation, as it is by some business owners who want to add value to their products, he has also introduced the bachelors package, where the traditional vegetables, which usually take time to be made are picked and sorted for easy preparation.

He also does extra services including chopping onions, tomatoes and preparing fruits or vegetables depending on the customer’s orders. Afterwards, he packs them in a branded reusable shopping bag.

As his business expands, Mr Muhando has sought partners who work with him, one, who is in charge of transport and deliveries while another is in charge of a walk-in store he is putting up.

READ ALSO:   Chief arrested in Wajir for manipulating census

Major challenge 

His major challenge is finding the balance between the cost he uses to purchase the vegetables and delivering them at the customer’s doorstep.

“Since my customers are spread all over, the main issue is balancing the delivery that it does not eat into  my  profits. Competition is also high since more people are now tapping into this business so it requires a lot of improvement and incentives for the customers,”  he says.

Mr Muhando plans to expand his business and even have a walk in store, such as the popular Zucchini, which will in turn create employment for more people as his contribution to the country’s economy.

His advises to young people who unfortunately lost their jobs during the pandemic, “look for other jobs or set up your own businesses,  however small”.

“Keep trying, remember quality service is your biggest advertising,” says Mr Muhando.


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Shock after man kills son before taking his own life



Residents of a Naivasha village woke up to rude shock after a middle-aged man killed his three-year-old son before hanging himself on a tree.

The man strangled his son in Kipkonyo Village while the mother was away before committing suicide, plunging the area into mourning.

Tears flowed freely as relatives and friends tried to come to terms with the incident before police moved in to collect the two bodies.

Record statement

The 30-year-old man, after killing his son, threw the body into a latrine under construction before stripping naked and hanging himself.

Naivasha police boss Samuel Waweru confirmed the incident, adding that security officers had collected the two bodies and opened an inquest.

He said they would be seeking the wife who was not present during the incident to record a statement as part of their investigations.

“Initial investigations indicate that the man first killed his son by twisting his neck and dumping the body in the family latrine before using a rope to hang himself,” said the police boss.

A neighbour, Isaac Lang’at, said the deceased had for a long time clashed with his wife leading to a separation before he decided to kill himself.


READ ALSO:   Chief arrested in Wajir for manipulating census
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