•Cases of murder-suicide are on the rise in a worrying trend amid calls to address the same
•The bodies were moved to the mortuary as investigations into the incident go on.
A police officer shot and killed his wife before he turned a gun on himself in a suspected murder-suicide incident in Migori town.
Police said they are investigating the incident that happened Sunday morning where constable Anthony Mwangi Njuguna, 29, is believed to have shot and killed his wife Maureen Moraa Kiriago, 27, in their house in the town.
A total of 17 spent cartridges were recovered from the house after police visited the scene.
Neighbours told police the two had quarrelled before they heard gunshots from the house.
Njuguna had booked off duty at the report office at 11.30 pm and proceeded to his house without handing over his rifle to the armoury.
The weapon was found next to his body with 13 bullets. He had spent 17 bullets whose cartridges were recovered therein.
The bodies were moved to the mortuary as investigations into the incident go on.
The young couple had been together for more than a year.
The reason behind their quarrel is yet to be known.
The incident adds to the growing cases of murder-suicide among uniformed officers in the country.
Tens of police officers have in the past year been killed and injured in similar circumstances, where officers use their issued guns to target the victims before also killing themselves.
Officials said they are making efforts to address the trend that has been worrying over the years with no solution.
Such dramas are common in the service and most of them have been blamed on stress and trauma.
As part of efforts to address the menace, police authorities have rolled out a counselling programme targeting the officers.
The National Police Service Commission announced it had established the counselling unit, which will, among others things, evaluate, design, and lead an outreach programme to deal with mental health problems and substance abuse.
The programme is also aimed at assisting clients or families affected by mental health, substance abuse issues and trauma to overcome the challenges.
Inspector General of police Hilary Mutyambai had in 2019 launched a new programme — Muamko Mpya-Healing the Uniform Initiative — to give psychological support to officers.
He said police officers, who are often exposed to trauma that creates deep emotional scars, need healing.
“The ultimate goal of the initiative is to provide officers with knowledge, tools and a framework to assist them to support each other while handling traumatic situations,” Mutyambai said.
“They encounter most of these situations on personal and professional levels.”
Last year, Interior CS Fred Matiang'i encouraged police officers to formalise their unions and inform their human resources departments.
The clergy will be asked to encourage as many officers as possible to have formal weddings.
“Like other members of society, police and prisons officers are susceptible to mental health challenges and other pressures including drugs and substance abuse," he said.
Matiang’i said the government, the NPS and Prisons Service have enhanced counselling and medical help for officers.
“There is a deliberate drive to destigmatise mental illness and stress and to actively reach out to potential cases, including through the Nyumba Kumi initiative," Matiang'i said.