NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A policeman in western Kenya shot dead a civilian and four of his colleagues before turning the gun on himself, an official and a witness said Wednesday.
The Western Kenya Regional Commissioner James ole Serian said the police officer used his official rifle in the Tuesday night attack.
Haman Muhoma, a policeman, said he tried to stop the officer who had blamed his colleagues for informing his wife about his extra-marital affair.
The incident is one among a string of murder-suicides by police in the country. Authorities say that the high suicide rate among officers may be a result of frustration from poor pay and working conditions. The Kenyan government is attempting to improve the working conditions of police but critics say the process is too slow.
The Sunday Nation, Kenya's most circulated newspaper, in September reported that The National Police Service had sanctioned, but not publicly released, a study three years ago that found job-related stress contributing to a large number of suicidal or homicidal police.
Most affected by suicides are newly married officers who have to share houses with unmarried officers due to a lack of resources, said the newspaper quoting outgoing police chief David Kimaiyo. The sharing of houses leads to suspicions of infidelity which can end up in suicide, Kimaiyo was quoted saying.
In September Constable Job Ambani Wale committed suicide after shooting his supervisor, Senior Sgt. Hussein Barow, at the Haujubey police camp in Garissa County.