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Eldoret street family seeks help finding body of kin who drowned

Thursday December 12 2019

River Sosian

A view of River Sosian in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, where a handcuffed street urchin drowned a week ago. PHOTO | TITUS OMINDE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

TITUS OMINDE
By TITUS OMINDE
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The body of a street urchin who drowned in River Sosian in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, a week ago is yet to be retrieved.

Anthony Chitonga, 23, reportedly drowned while running away from police who had arrested him on allegations of being a drug trafficker.

His family has dismissed this report, accusing police of causing his death.

Monica Watoka insisted that her brother was not a criminal and appealed to government to help them retrieve the body from the river.

“We were told he drowned while handcuffed by police. We are not interested in [many] stories. Our request to the government is to help us retrieve the body and bury it,” she said.

DEMANDS

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Mr David Juma, a human rights activist who helps street families in Eldoret, accused police of being inhumane.

Mr Juma wants them to explain that day's events to the public and be held accountable for Mr Chitonga's death.

He has since reported the matter to the office of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority in Eldoret.

“Ipoa must put police to task to explain what happened. That was a human being whose life was valuable,” said Mr Juma.

The activist also asked the government to facilitate retrieval of the body from the river.

“We want the government to help us find professional divers, after which police must explain the cause of this incident,” he said.

INVESTIGATION

County police boss Johnstone Ipara said earlier that Mr Chitonga drowned in the river while trying to dodge police officers who had handcuffed him.

Mr Ipara said he had been found engaging in criminal activities in the area.

“Police cannot push a handcuffed suspect into a river," he said.

But he added, "We are following up on the incident. We will soon get to the bottom of this."

He referred journalists seeking more information to the Turbo Sub-county police Commander.

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