A Kisumu family pleads for justice after shooting

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The family of a 19 year old boda boda rider in Kisumu are calling for justice to their son they alleged was shot by Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) in the eve of New Year.

Byron Ochieng Alango had his right arm shattered by bullets on 26th December 2022 in Kanyakwar area in the outskirts of Kisumu City.

According to a police report, Ochieng was shot while trying to rescue a suspected ivory smuggler from police officers.

The report indicated that three suspects including two foreigners were arrested after a tip off  while in possession of eight pieces of elephant tusks weighing 16kg with a street value of over Sh. 0.5 million.

It went further to say that the fourth suspect, who is Ochieng, while on a motorbike attempted to rescue the suspects using a metal bar.

The officers are reported to have opened fire and shot him in his arms as he fled away from the scene.

His family now disputes the police version claiming their son was unnecessarily targeted when the officers raided the area to arrest the three suspects.

His mother, Mary Alango said the claims by the police are not adding up as he called for justice to their kin.

Alango said when he received a call of the shooting, she rushed to the scene only to find that Ochieng had been rushed to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) by locals who witnessed the incident.

“I went to the hospital and found him admitted in pain having suffered a bullet shot on his right hand,” she said.

What perplexed the family, the victim stayed in the hospital for 5 days before KWS officers appeared in the hospital.

“They told me, they shot him and by law they will be by his hospital bed until he is discharged,” she said.

Speaking to the press on Wednesday in Kisumu, Alango said they have no funds to cater for the medical bills and asked the government to step in and help them.

“Bryon’s father died when he was still young, he lives with me, and I have no formal employment. We are calling for justice,” she said.

The tearful Mary said she has used close to Sh. 30,000 from family members to support his son in hospital.

“My son is now being guarded by two KWS officers both day and night in hospital. Why can’t the government then take over his medication?” she asked.

Erick Okello, a human rights defender, has in the meantime petitioned the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) and Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU) seeking further probe into the shooting.

“We are calling on the independent bodies to investigate the KWS officer on misuse of firearms and if found culpable then a judicial process should be instituted for justice to be served,” said Okello.

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