Questions as suspect commits suicide in Kasarani police cells

Independent Policing Oversight Authority representatives stated they will look into the situation and offer recommendations.


• IPOA to probe claims Wanyama used a shoelace to kill himself.

• The shoelace was found on the victim’s neck and efforts by the cellmates to save him were futile.

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Image: Courtesy

Authorities are looking into what led to a suspect's suicide when they were holding him in the Kasarani police cells.

According to officials, 30-year-old Fredrick Wanjala Wanyama hanged himself on Monday morning in the cells using his shoelace.

He had been held at the cells pending transfer to Eldoret to answer to the assault allegations. Prior to being apprehended and taken into custody, a warrant for his arrest had been issued because he had skipped his court date, according to the police.

Kasarani police officials claimed that other prisoners in the cell had told them that Wanyama killed himself using a shoelace.

The victim's shoelace was discovered on his neck, and the other prisoners' vain attempts to save him were ineffective. After being prepared, the body was delivered to the mortuary.

Independent Policing Oversight Authority representatives stated they will look into the situation and offer recommendations.

Later, on-duty police officers were questioned about the event. As part of the investigation, the suspects who were there were also questioned about the incident.

Authorities want to know if it's feasible that the man passed away after committing suicide with a shoelace. Over the weekend, two people in the city committed suicide.

The first incidence occurred in Dandora, where Caroline Cheptum, 30, perished after leaping from a building's sixth level.

In Kayole, the body of Joseph Njoroge was found dangling on a roof after a suspected suicide. Police say they are investigating the incidents.

Cases of suicide have been on the rise this year and authorities blame the trend on mental distress.

Police handled 499 cases in 2019 and 575 in 2020. At least 313 people are reported to have taken their lives between January and July 2021.

The majority of the victims were male, police reports say.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says such cases are attributed to joblessness, the breakup of relationships or a death, academic failures or pressures, legal difficulties, financial difficulties, bullying, previous suicide attempts, history of suicide in a family, alcoholism and substance misuse, depression and bipolar disorder.

Globally, close to 800,000 people die of suicide every year with an estimated 78 percent of cases occurring in low- and middle-income countries.

Kenya ranks position 114 among the 175 countries with the highest suicide rates.

Counselors, medics, and psychologists advise that you can always reach out for help when experiencing any mental health issues. Call Kenya Red Cross toll-free hotline, 1199 for support.

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