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Forest boss blames inadequate housing in rangers murder-suicide incident

Monday, June 3rd, 2024 21:40 | By
Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) Alex Lemarkoko speaks at Cherenganyi Forest station where two forest rangers were killed before the assailant turned the gun on himself. PHOTO/@KeForestService/X.
Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) Alex Lemarkoko speaks at Cherenganyi Forest station where two forest rangers were killed before the assailant turned the gun on himself. PHOTO/@KeForestService/X.

Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) Alex Lemarkoko has blamed the shortage of rangers' accommodation in the murder-suicide incident that occurred at the Cherenganyi Forest Station in Trans Nzoia County on Sunday, June 2, 2024.

Speaking at the scene of the crime, the forest boss noted that two of the deceased rangers had been sharing a house when the border patrol officer identified as Evans Kimtai opened fire on them before turning the AK47 rifle on himself.

In the harrowing incident, a third ranger was left with serious injuries and is currently recuperating at a hospital.

Elgeyo Marakwet County Police Commander Peter Mulinge narrated the Kimtai's actions as causing chaos, with shots fired indiscriminately before the fatal shootings occurred.

"He was armed and caused a lot of commotion shooting randomly before killing the two and injuring one other ranger," Mulinge said.

Forest station

According to Lemarkoko, the station manager Nicholas Nyenze narrowly escaped death after Kimtai indiscriminately sprayed his house with bullets.

"The CCF noted that it was an isolated incident and he urged the staff and community to maintain peace. He noted the acute shortage of Rangers housing which is prevalent countrywide may have worsened the situation because two of the victims were sharing a house," a statement by the chief conservator noted.

Lemarkoko observed that the incident was an isolated one and urged forest staff and members of the community to maintain peace.

Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) Alex Lemarkoko speaks at Cherenganyi Forest station. PHOTO/@KeForestService/X

The CCF was accompanied by the Kenya Forest Service Commandant Mohamed Adan, the Regional Conservator Anthony Musyoka and the County Conservator Mr Elly Ntinda

Reports indicate that Kimtai was a jilted lover and had been suspecting one of the slain officers was having an affair with his girlfriend.

The woman in the love triangle who is also a forest ranger is said to have been out of the station at the time of the incident.

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