Slain GSU officer in Kapenguria attack was newly wed, family says

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The General Service Unit (GSU) elite commando officer killed in the Kapenguria Police Station attack got married a month ago, it has emerged. Dennis Momanyi, 26, was said to have visited his home to marry his bride Edna Morangi, only last month and was set to visit again before the cruel hand of death plucked him at his prime.

A sombre mood engulfed Igucha village, West Mugirango Sub County as family, relatives and friends came to terms with the news of his untimely death. His parents, Christopher and Josephine Momanyi, who were still reeling in shock and pain from the news of his death, described him as a hardworking son, the sole breadwinner in the family whose death had created a huge gap.

It was during his last visit that Momanyi, who had spent much of his time at home planting, also promised to sponsor his younger sibling for a parallel degree programme course at the University of Nairobi.

They said they received the bad news from one of his brothers, even though they had watched the news of the Kapenguria attack, unaware their son was among the rescue team. Local leaders, led by Kisii Senator Chris Obure, sent their condolences, hailing him as a gallant officer who sacrificed his life to save others from the hands of a cowardly and senseless murderer.

“I send my condolences to the young wife and family members,” said Obure on his twitter page. Area Member of County Assembly Beuttah Omanga asked the government to consider giving another chance from the family to serve in the force and appealed for expeditious compensation to the family to avoid putting them in financial constraints.

Meanwhile, President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday joined other world leaders in condoling with the victims and families in France following the terror attack in Nice on Thursday night that claimed scores of lives and injured several others.

He said the attacks were motivated by the same ideologies that had occasioned past attacks in Kenya, and pledged Kenya’s support in fighting terrorism, which he said brought nothing but hatred and division between peoples.

“The thoughts of Kenyans go to all the victims, to their loved ones and to France. May they find the strength to bear this loss. Together we will do everything we can to defend the cause of democracy, and to defeat terrorism,” said Uhuru in a statement.

“As a friend and ally of France, and as a nation that has suffered the same evil that was visited on France, Kenya stands ready to support France in this time of sorrow and grief,” he added.

The attack was masterminded by a lone truck driver, who opened fire at a crowd celebrating France’s Bastille Day (national day), shooting indiscriminately at people as he drove towards the crowd shooting at will, before the police finally shot him.

Meanwhile, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) has sent condolences to the families and friends of the seven police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty in the Kapenguria attack. The commission expressed their sympathies to the police for the loss they termed it a blow to the country, even as they encouraged the public to embrace community policing in their areas to detect potential threats.

“As a commission whose work closely interlinks with the security mandate of the National Police Service, the commission is gravely affected and saddened by the loss of even one officer, noting the capacity gaps that continue to exist in policing ratio and ever growing population,” said the commission’s chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori in a statement.

It said the attack came after the conclusion of public hearings on insecurity in the greater North Rift region where it interacted with senior police officers and discussed the myriad security challenges and efforts made to secure their jurisdictions.

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