Police officers manning State House Nairobi were on Monday forced to shoot at a man who attempted to access the premises brandishing a knife.
Kibet Bera, a fifth year mechanical engineering student at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Jkuat), was shot on his left shoulder and is receiving treatment at the Kenyatta National Hospital.
Kilimani Sub-County Police Commander, Mr Michael Muchiri said the 25-year-old attempted to scale State House Gate B at 4pm.
Mr Muchiri said the officers who challenged Kibet as he attempted entry did not to kill him for he appeared mentally unfit.
“He was shot at, basically to immobilise him. The hands were the target but somehow he was shot in the shoulder. But he is in a good condition. He is admitted at the Kenyatta National Hospital and is out of danger,” Mr Muchiri told Nation by phone.
State House also confirmed the incident saying the student was booked at Kileleshwa Police Station before being taken to hospital.
“We take this opportunity to remind the public that State House is a designated protected area under the Protected Areas Act. For that reason no person is allowed access to the premise without the permission of the prescribed authority,” Ms Kanze Dena-Mararo, the State House spokesperson said in a statement.
“We don’t think that his state of mind was proper. That’s why there was a bit of restraint on the officers,” added Mr Muchiri.
The student had on Sunday made a series posts on his Facebook page, threatening that he would raid State House the next day.
“Tomorrow I attack Statehouse. God has sent me to execute judgement,” read his post.
Earlier, he had posted to say that he would not “allow myself to be captured”. He had also written that “those who fear death are not supposed to go with us into this war”.
STATE OF MIND
The Facebook posts are part of police investigations into the incident, Mr Muchiri said.
“The worrying bit is his state of mind, and the question of whether it is terror related. Especially at this time, when someone tries to jump over the State House gate, people can infer a lot of things about that. But I think we are very much concerned about his state of mind. We don’t think that’s a normal act,” said the police boss.
Mr Muchiri added: “As soon as he is in a better condition, we will present him before a magistrate, and I’m sure the next thing that will come out is his mental assessment and anything else that could tell us what this person is, and whether he’s had any history, what kind of a person he’s been and all that.”
The police boss said that it is a criminal offence to try to access a protected area like State House.
“You’d be charged for trespassing into a high security area,” he said.
In March 2017, a similar intrusion incident happened, and in that case the man in question was shot dead.
By the time he was discovered, he had already entered the State House compound and was at the parking area.
The attempted intrusion happened at around 5pm on March 25, 2017 as President Uhuru Kenyatta was away attending a golf tournament in Muthaiga.
General Service Unit officers manning the compound killed the man.