NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 12 – Sixty one police officers were honoured with bravery awards on Tuesday for exemplary work by putting their lives at risk to safeguard the country.
The officers from various police units countrywide were given the Manu Chandaria Awards in recognition of their good work.
“These are officers who have put their lives at risk at the expense of public security in extremely dangerous circumstances,” Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere said when he awarded the officers with certificates and tokens at the CID training school in Nairobi.
Some of the officers were honoured posthumously for battling armed criminals in exceptional circumstances.
Others are police officers who were maimed by bullets fired by criminals while others were honoured for recovering firearms in extremely dangerous situations.
“As you can see, some of these officers have been amputated because of the injuries they sustained in battles with criminals,” the police chief said.
Businessman Manu Chandaria who has been sponsoring the awards for several years urged the police department to always work hard to improve the country’s security.
“We support these awards because these officers put their lives on the line to protect Kenyans; it is a big sacrifice which needs to be appreciated,” Chandaria said.
Among officers honoured are Police Constables Julius Ndaka Kitului and Ginna Garro Ailia who recovered firearms from three suspected gangsters during a shootout on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway following an ambush.
Iteere said the officers were alerted of a robbery which had been committed and given particulars of the vehicle the gangsters were using, after which they erected a roadblock seven kilometres from Kyumbi township.
“The suspected gangsters fell into the ambush and a gun battle ensued. As a result, three members of the gang were gunned down with no injuries sustained to the officers. Three firearms were recovered,” a citation for the two officers states.
Three other officers from Eastern Provincial Police headquarters Corporal Julius Thirina, Constables Jeremiah Kedowe and Woche Doti were also honoured for “performing gallantly” on March 2, 2012 when they laid an ambush and recovered Sh56,850 from gangsters who had carjacked a truck transporting loaves of bread in Meru.
Iteere said the officers were honoured because they laid an ambush after receiving the information, well aware that the thugs were armed with a G3 rifle.
Corporal Hassan Ibrahim Abagalla and Constable Emodoh James of Central Province were also honoured for recovering two firearms from criminals in Kagio, Thika after laying an ambush at night.
“The officers displayed zeal and tact, which has made the area calm and safe with no major incidents of violent crimes. They also managed to arrest a suspect who was arraigned in court,” Iteere said.
Inspector Simon Kirema Mugira and Constable Justus Gitari Nkari of Nairobi County were awarded for their bravery when they were involved in a shootout in Industrial Area where both sustained injuries on the ear and nose respectively and managed to recover stolen items.