A 19-year-old Form Two student at Rangala Girls High School in Siaya County, Jecinter Achieng, was fatally shot by a stray police bullet on Tuesday morning while on a motorcycle heading to buy school supplies. She was among four people who were shot after police opened fire on a hostile crowd in Kisumu’s Jua Kali area. Achieng was rushed to the Aga Khan Hospital but passed away before treatment. Her mother was inconsolable upon seeing her daughter’s lifeless body at the hospital’s mortuary.
Achieng’s brother-in-law had planned to pay the rest of her school fees, which had caused her to miss almost a month of school, so that she could continue her studies uninterrupted. Mr Kevin Ochieng, the boda boda rider whose motorcycle Achieng was riding at the time of the shooting, survived but with a bullet wound on his right arm.
The incident was triggered by a confrontation between police and Jua Kali artisans when police officers chased a public service vehicle into Jua Kali area, and the driver ran towards the mechanics’ area. The police retreated as a crowd began to form, and other traders in the area then joined the fray. One of the officers began shooting, and three people were shot, including Achieng.
The Jua Kali artisans are demanding justice for the three injured people and stated that police officers cannot shoot people at will. Angered by the turn of events, traders took to the streets, paralyzing activities in the city for most of the morning. Kisumu County Police Commander Alphonse Kimanthi assured the mechanics that the matter would be investigated, and the governor described the incident as sad and sent condolences to Achieng’s family. He also wished those injured a speedy recovery.