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Christmas party in Bungoma turns tragic as police kill man



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A Christmas celebration turned tragic in a village in Bungoma County after police shot and killed one person while several others were injured in in the ensuing confrontation.

Angry residents also burnt a house belonging to an assistant chief in the Wednesday evening chaos.

The chaos started after police shot in the air killing one person after.

Irate members of the public had turned rowdy as they attempted to prevent police officers from arresting the man who was one of the organisers of the celebration.

According to Lwandanyi MCA Tony Barasa, police who were on patrol shot dead Mr George Barasa as he returned to his house after buying a local brew popularly known as busaa for his guests.

“Police who were on patrol shot dead Mr George Barasa while on his way back home after buying more drinks for guests who were celebrating a pass out ceremony for his son,” said the MCA.

The irate public turned against the police officers leading to running battles that saw several houses burnt in a demonstration against the killing of Mr Barasa, a county revenue clerk in Sirisia town.

One person was shot in the chest by the police during the confrontations and was taken to Malakisi Health Centre.

The locals set ablaze the house of Butonge Sub-Location Assistant Chief Fredrick Waswa and another one belonging to a police informer for siding with the security officers whom they claimed have been harassing them.

Anti-riot police officers had to be called in to quell the mounting tension as the residents protested over the upsurge of insecurity in the area.

Residents are now calling for the transfer of all police officers in the area for failing to contain insecurity.

They accused the officers of collecting bribes and protection fee from busaa and chang’aa sellers.

Governor Wycliffe Wangamati and Sirisia MP John Waluke accompanied senior county security officers to the scene of the incident in a bid to quell the simmering tension.

Bungoma West Deputy County Commissioner Daniel Kurui condemned the torching of the five-bedroom house belonging to the local administrator and warned the residents against taking the law into their own hands.

“The assistant chief was only trying to fight against the consumption of local brews which is harming youths. Burning his house and destroying his crops was uncalled for,” said Mr Kurui.

Governor Wangamati asked the police to deal with the locals in a humane way even as they fight insecurity.

“We want the police to be mature and responsible in their [fight] against crime. Innocent [people] should not be killed in the fight against criminals,” said Mr Wangamati.

The victim’s body was taken to the Bungoma County Referral Hospital mortuary.

This incident comes a few weeks after a similar one in Kolongolo, Trans Nzoia County where five people were shot dead following a clash with police officers who had gone to arrest a suspect of domestic violence.