An irate mob in Binyenya Village, Bungoma County lynched a senior police officer moments after he reportedly killed a boda boda rider.
Kapchonge Police Station Deputy OCS Paul Kerich is said to have shot a 27-year-old man multiple times killing him on the spot after the two had a heated argument.
The victim’s friend, who was also shot twice by the officer, is currently recovering at Tongaren Health Centre where he was taken by well-wishers.
In an interview with Nation, Bungoma North police boss Stephen Mwoni said the man was shot accidentally by the police officer when he was dispersing youths who were demonstrating over poor state of roads in the area.
The Tuesday evening incident, which was condemned by local leaders, happened moments after a section of boda boda rider dug trenches and planted banana stems on the Ndalu-Hambichi road protesting against its poor state.
Mr Mwoni however took issue with local leaders on what he termed as inciting the locals against the police.
“Political leaders should be neutral in all situations. It is wrong for them to incite members of the public against the police," he said.
He added that, the boda boda operators should have lodged a complaint with the relevant authorities instead of taking the law into their own hands and killing a police officer.
The police boss accused the riders of holding a demonstration without a permit.
Governor Wycliffe Wangamati, who visited the scene of crime on Wednesday, condemned the killings.
Mr Wangamati said every citizen has the right to live and the freedom of expression which includes the right to demonstrate and to picket.
He condemned the brutal use of force by the security officer against a citizen who was not armed.
Mr Wangamati also called on the police and the boda boda operators to form a joint committee through which to resolve any sticking issues.
Binyenya Boda Boda Chairperson Kennedy Abesi said the attack against his colleague happened long after they had called off their planned protest after area MCA sent a representative to speak to them.
According to Abesi, his colleague was making a turn to his house when he met a police officer who had been collecting bribes from chang'aa brewers.
“It is at that point that he asked the police officer to stop harassing residents and in reply, the officer fired bullets into him, killing him instantly,” said Mr Abesi.
An angry mob descended on the officer with crude weapons, kicks and blows killing him on the spot.
The two bodies were taken to Cheranganyi Hospital Mortuary in the neighbouring Trans Nzoia County.