- Imbatu was under investigation over shooting dead of a man in April this year in Mountain View
- He also suspected his wife Carol was dishonest in their relationship and suspected bodaboda riders, friends say
Killer police constable Benson Imbatu was under investigation over the fatal shooting of a man in Mountain View estate, Nairobi eight months ago.
He was also “stressed” over constant quarrel with his lover Carol, his friends and family said.
He had moved with Carol to the house where he killed her early this month. But Imbatu had been at Kabete police station for the last three years.
This gave him room to start a bar near where he took his life. Carol is said to have been running the bar business.
His friends and relatives revealed Imbatu had been suspecting infidelity on Carol and would at times isolate himself and even smoke “bad things”to forget it.
Imbatu shot dead Carol and five other locals in Kabete area before taking his own life using the AK47 rifle he had. He spent 26 bullets.
He excused himself from duty on Tuesday and drove to his house where he met Carol who had closed business before shooting her therein and later started a fire.
He later walked out and got into his car, drove out as he shot at anyone he met. Most of the victims he shot were boda boda riders in the area who knew him and his car.
He later shot himself in his car as police approached the scene.
Angry protesters raided the bar on Tuesday and looted it in protest against the shooting.
Carol’s brother Oliver Musoga said just like any other family, the two had marital issues which could pop up and be solved on a regular basis.
“We want justice. We don’t know what happened and why but it is wrong. Carol was a nice and down to earth woman,” he said.
His colleagues said he was a short-tempered man and they always feared him at the station.
At the station when news came out he had shot dead people, one officer was heard shouting “that madman has killed people” in reference to Imbatu.
“He at times acted out of anger and people feared him despite his age. He was about to retire but was stressed over his marriage life,” said an officer at the station.
Authorities say preliminary investigations suggest the incident may have been triggered by a love triangle gone awry.
This suggests the killing was triggered by disagreements between Imbatu and Carol. Police say the officer had suspected Carol was going out with some local bodaboda riders.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi however said the DCI and the Internal Affairs Unit of the National Police Service are undertaking an active investigation on the matter and will keep the public fully updated.
“We are saddened by the shooting and we condole with the families of those affected. As the probe goes on, we understand for now it is linked to a love triangle,” he said.
He encouraged police officers to formalize their unions and to make information on the same officially available to Human Resources department.
He said the clergy will be roped in to encourage as many officers as possible to conduct formal weddings.
“This will reduce/discourage delays in payment of fallen officers dues over disputed relations and court cases on succession,” he said.
“Like any other members of society, Police and Prisons officers are susceptible to mental health challenges and other pressures including drugs and substance abuse," he added.
Matiang’i said the government in collaboration with the NPS and Prison Service has enhanced counseling and medical help for affected officers.
“There is a deliberate drive to destigmatize mental health and stress and to actively reach out to potential cases including Nyumba kumi initiative," the CS observed.
He said NPS and Prison Services will digitize officers records to ensure accurate and available data to help with payment of relevant dues for fallen officers.