WORRYING TREND

Kibicho nephew buried, official calls for action to reduce suicides

PS's relative Gerald Mwai reportedly took his life on September 29.

In Summary

• Central deputy county commissioner Daniel Ndege said the State is profiling reported cases to establish the reasons for the upsurge in suicides in efforts to contain the trend.

• He spoke during the burial at Njegas of Gerald Mwai, a nephew to Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho. 

Colleagues carry the casket containing the body of Gerald Mwai during his burial in Njegas, Kirinyaga, yesterday
SUICIDES: Colleagues carry the casket containing the body of Gerald Mwai during his burial in Njegas, Kirinyaga, yesterday
Image: /KNA

High rates of suicide in Kirinyaga county are of great concern to the government, Kirinyaga Central deputy county commissioner Daniel Ndege has said. 

Ndege said the State is profiling reported cases to establish the reasons for the upsurge in suicides in efforts to contain the trend.

He spoke during the burial at Njegas of Gerald Mwai, a nephew to Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho. 

Mwai worked as a police officer at Itabua police station in Embu and reportedly took his life on  September 29. He was 33.

Water PS Irungu Wairagu who spoke on behalf of Kibicho said the two children Mwai left behind would be assisted to grow up to be responsible people.

“We can no longer bury our head in the sand. Leaders must come out and provide lasting solutions to the issues affecting our youth to the point of taking their lives,” Ndege said.

The administrator said the government had intensified efforts to contain the production of illicit brews and the peddling of drugs blamed for the suicides in the county.

“We want people to be sober which can only be achieved in the absence of cheap liquor and drugs,” Ndege said.

Ndege said chiefs and their assistants have been advised to take up the matter and provide solutions to issues touching on land disputes.

“The government has taken a step and has posted psychology experts in health facilities to assist those who may be having problems that call for counselling,” he said.

Ndege urged all the stakeholders to join hands to address the situation which he described as bordering on a county catastrophe.

He said reports of suicide-related deaths in Kirinyaga have been on the increase among the youth who hold the future of the country.

A Kirinyaga elder James Mureithi Kangara said the elders of Kiama Kiama have come up with a programme to guide the youth.

“As of now, the boy child has been neglected and is feeling abandoned, thus the many suicide cases involving the young men,” he said

Kangara said the elders are drawing up a schedule where they will try to reach to as many youths as possible in the entire county of Kirinyaga.

“Had we managed to reach Mwai, perhaps he would still be living today. We want to give them counsel,” he said.

Police chaplain Samuel Gitau urged the public to support the force through prayers.

He said Mwai was granted off duty to rest at home as he appeared unwell only for his station to receive reports that he had committed suicide.

Gitau said police officers work under difficult conditions while keeping law and order hence need empathy and collaboration from the public to make their work easier.