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Cops kill MP's kin in cold blood

08 November 2013, 17:02 Arap Yego

Mt Elgon - A contingent of security officers comprising warders from Kitale Medium Prison and police officers from the Kitale Police Station raided a home in the outskirts of Kitale town Thursday night and allegedly shot dead a nephew to the Mt Elgon MP, John Serut, over what is suspected to be a land dispute.

Solomon Karani Serut, 23, was shot dead under unclear circumstances in what police are claiming to be a mission to arrest persons whom they accused of confronting an officer early this week over the said parcel of land.

The warders from Medium prison and police officers of Kitale station raided the homestead at 8.30 PM on Thursday to effect the arrest of one of the family members of the serut’s, but they met resistance from the family and tenants who stay within the same compound, mistaking them for thugs, raised alarm.

The family alleged that the officers forced their way into one of the tenant’s house thus prompting them to raise the alarm.

This prompted the officers to shoot in the air to scare tenants and neighbors’ who had responded to the distress call.

“It was around 9:00 PM when officers raided our home and ordered us to lie down. They then handcuffed my young brother Charles Serut and my mother Hellen Wanjala who resisted arrest and demanded to be told why,” explained Jackline Serut, who was present at the scene during the incident.

She added that the officers’ intentions could not easy be established as they broke into the house of the tenants, especially those who are students at Mount Kenya University Kitale campus, before moving to the Serut’s family house.

The commotion between the police and the family raised alarm within the neighborhood prompting officers to shoot in the air as they walked away. When calm was restored, the family was shocked to find Solomon’s body lying lifeless on the ground.

He was immediately rushed to the Kitale District Hospital where he was pronounced dead by the doctor in charge. A bullet remains lodged in his head.

After the incident, Jackline Serut went to report the matter to the Kitale Police station but was denied the opportunity to book the report.

The family has also alleged that they have been denied permission to transfer the body from the district hospital to the Cherangany Nursing Home.

The family suspects foul play in the incident and wonders why the police are making it difficult for them to take care of their kin after his death.

When contacted for comment over the incident, Trans Nzoia County Police Commander, Lillian Okembo, confirmed the death of Solomon Serut but said no arrest has been made. She told media that her officers had been called by warders at 9:30 PM to make the arrests at the home.

“Police are treating this case with the seriousness that it deserves. We have even sent samples of the Pistol used to Nairobi for forensic investigations,” said the County commander.

She urged the family to remain calm as the police carry out investigations into the matter.

Mt Elgon MP has asked for thorough investigations into the matter, saying the issues surrounding the disputed land between the family and the prison has been on and off for a long time and should be resolved once and for all.

“This is an innocent boy who has been killed in cold blood. His death must be thoroughly investigated and his killers brought to book,” said Serut.

The MP, who was speaking to the on phone, further asked, “Why would police officers raid a home at night and instead of arresting suspects end up killing?"

So far, it has been established that there was no arrest warranty and no eviction order concerning the evacuation of the said family on an acre piece of land in dispute.

According to legislator Serut, the family has been wrangling with the Prison Department over an acre of land adjacent to Kitale Medium prison with each of them claiming ownership.

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