Bomet family differs with police on teacher's cause of death

Saturday December 29 2018

Damaris Njeri, 22, had been missing for three

Damaris Njeri, 22, had been missing for three days when her naked body was found on a pole on February 11. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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The death of a primary school teacher in Bomet County has sparked a row following contradictory reports on the cause.

Johnstone Chirchir was a teacher at Lelechwet Primary School in Chepalungu Sub-county. His body was found at Kapkwen trading centre on Friday morning by residents who alerted police.


Police says Mr Chirchir was killed in a hit and run accident but his relatives say the postmortem report states he was hit with a blunt object.

The 43-year-old father of five spent part of the previous night drinking at a bar at the trading centre, a short distance from the place where his body was found.

“We have been informed by the bar owner that he was in the company of two male friends and a lady and that he paid for a round of drinks before leaving the club that night,” said his brother Samuel Sigei.

Mr Sigei, who addressed reporters flanked by family member Samwel Koskei, said they informed police that Mr Chirchir's phone went missing but that no action was taken.

“His shirt and vest were torn and blood oozed from his mouth and nose, a clear indication that he was involved in a struggle. We found the shirt's buttons where the body was dumped," he said.

While accusing police of laxity and attempting to close the file before the probe is completed, Mr Sigei demanded that they take action.


Dr Vitalis Oyome, a surgeon, conducted the postmortem at Longisa County Referral Hospital on Friday.

“The cause of death was a head injury secondary to trauma by a blunt object,” he said.

“He [suffered] a broken forehead and had a blood clot in the brain and a fracture in the skull which fragmented on the left side. [He also suffered] massive internal bleeding."

However, Bomet divisional police commander Samson Rukunga disputed claims that the teacher was murdered.

“As far as we are concerned, it was a case of a hit and run," he told the press in his office.

The body was taken to the Longisa hospital mortuary ahead of the burial at Sachangwan Village in Bomet Central Constituency.