Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos had a brush with death when a drunk forest guard aimed his rifle at him, threatening to open fire.
Governor Tolgos and his entourage were touring projects in Cherang’any/Chebororwa Ward when they encountered the hostile officer who was dressed in civilian clothing.
The officer tried to prevent the governor from entering Takwei primary school arguing that it was located within the forest.
The school is adjacent to the forest station where the officer is attached to.
“What do you want here?” the ranger asked the Governor and his team.
“If you go into the school, I will get my gun and shoot you”, threatened the guard as he hurled abuses at the governor.
The officer then dashed to his house and returned, clad in uniform and armed with a G3 rifle.
He cocked the firearm and took aim at the governor before his colleagues pounced on him and disarmed him.
The forest guard was reportedly locked up in a room to sober up as the governor continued with his tour.
Area residents alleged that the rangers who are tasked with protecting the forests were engaging in illegal logging and charcoal burning.
“The drunk officer was perhaps irked by the presence of the government delegation and most likely feared the visit would expose their illegal activities in the forest,” said resident Paul Kibet.
After the incident, the governor said the Rangers should be moved out of the school compound.
“We can’t allow this to happen… how can we have security officers living in a school compound and getting so drunk in such a way,” said Tolgos, adding that he would raise the issue with the Kenya Forest Service and the police.
North Rift KFS Enforcement Commander David Rono said investigations are underway.
“I have sent officers to the station to establish what happened. Disciplinary action will be taken against the officer,” he said.
Takwei Primary school head teacher Stanley Rutto noted that cases of officers firing in the air when drunk are common.
“As from 5pm, we are treated to gunshots. We are almost accustomed to it,” said Rutto.
Area assistant chief Joram Kipruto said the officer popularly known as Omwami has threatened him in the past.