All the officers attached to the O’Lessos Police Station in Nandi Hills will be transferred after a scuffle that saw three people killed and several others injured on Thursday.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Edward Mbugua said the transfer will be effected from Monday. He added that the move has been informed by the demands by locals who said they could no longer live harmoniously with the officers following the Thursday incident.
“I have heard your pleas and all of them will be transferred to other stations away from the Rift Valley. Even the OCPD will go. You will get new officers as from next week,” Mr Mbugua said when he visited the town on Friday on a fact-finding mission.
“We have several stations across the country. We will take them as far as possible from here,” he added.
The Thursday fracas began when a police officer shot dead a disabled cobbler, Mr Lazarus Tirop. Angry residents then burnt down the OCS’ office.
During the fracas, two other people were killed as hundreds of residents attempted to force their way into the station located within O’lessos town.
Mr Mbugua, who said rogue police officers will not be tolerated, promised that the killings will be thoroughly investigated.
The officer who shot the cobbler was arrested the same day and presented at the Eldoret High Court on Friday where he was charged with murder.
Mr Mbugua was accompanied by Rift Valley Regional Coordinator George Natembeya and Director of Police Internal Affairs Unit Mohammed Amin.
Mr Natembeya asked residents to cultivate a good working relationship with new officers who will be posted to the station. He cautioned them against bribing the officers.
“Most of you are always looking for easier ways out when you are found on the wrong. You always want to bribe the officers so you do not spend a moment in cells. This is something we will not tolerate,” said Mr Natembeya.
On Saturday, Nandi County Commissioner Samuel ole Kine said calm had returned to the area and that the planned transfers were underway.
“We are organising for the transfers as ordered by the Deputy Inspector General. Right now calm has returned to the town,” he told the Nation.
Rift Valley leaders led by Nandi Governor Stephen Sang and Uasin Gishu counterpart Jackson Mandago said innocent lives were lost due to rogue police officers in the region demanding the government to compensate affected families and settle burial and hospital bills for the injured.
“This is not the first time a rogue officer is killing our own. Some years back, an officer shot a man and killed him near the same spot (Mr) Tirop was killed and nothing was done to him. He was just transferred to the nearby Nandi Hills and he has been bragging that he is untouchable. This is not acceptable and we will not rest until Tirop and his family gets justice,” said Mr Sang.
Mr Mandago said the officers posted to various stations in the Rift region were fond of harassing residents.
“We have had enough of our people being killed by rogue officers…you will find an officer impounding tractors and demanding owners pay Sh20,000 when the offence itself is not even Sh2,000 fine if one was to go to court. This must stop,” said Mr Mandago.