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NPS Inspector General Hilary Mutyambai/FILE/CFM - Ojwang Joe

Kenya

IG urges police officers to seek psycho-social support after increased killings and suicide

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 12 – Amidst a worrying wave of killings among police officers, pressure is piling on Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to find a lasting solution.

While lobby groups and the Law Society of Kenya have raised alarm over a wave that has not spared families, the matter was the subject of discussion at Monday’s #EngageTheIG conversation on Twitter.

Mutyambai in response to concerns raised by members of the public, said the National Police Service has a dedicated department to handle the issues of mental health within the service at all times.

“This is already happening, NPS has a dedicated service to handle the issues of mental health within the Police service 24/7. We are encouraging all our officers to take up the services,” the IG said.

He urged police officers not to shy away from seeking psychosocial support, but it is not clear whether it is mandatory for them to seek debriefing sessions after a traumatic incident.

The recent killing involved a General Service Unit officer who killed his wife, a traffic officer based at Kilimani Police Division, before committing suicide.

The deceased officer was among bodyguards assigned to Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi while his wife was a traffic police officer.

The officer identified by police as Hudson Wakise is said to have opened fire on his wife after a quarrel over domestic issues at the woman’s house, just outside the GSU camp in Ruaraka.

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It is understood that they were living together in the camp until recently when she moved out and rented her own house following a fall-out over family issues.

His wife, Pauline Wakasa, was a police officer attached to the traffic department at Kilimani police station.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi mourned both officers, saying “it is a rude awakening call to psychological challenges amongst our young officers that we have no choice but to now greater attention to.”

Such cases have been on the increase lately, with at least two cases reported every month across the country, according to available statistics.

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