Slain policeman John Ogweno (28), who was allegedly shot dead by police corporal Caroline Kangogo, has been laid to rest in an emotional ceremony at his ancestral home in Sengre village, Kojwach East Location in Homa Bay County.
Mr Ogweno, who was attached to the Nakuru Central Police Station, was found dead early July inside a car at the police houses in Kasarani, Nakuru, where he and Ms Kangogo lived.
Emotions ran high at the Friday funeral as hundreds of residents wailed after viewing the body.
His body arrived at his ancestral home in Sengre Village, Kojwach East Location on Thursday evening after making stop overs in Nakuru and Kericho.
Hundreds of Kericho residents had turned up to pay their last respects at his Nyagacho home on Thursday evening.
Police vehicles escorted the body as it was driven through Kericho town on its way to Nyagacho on the outskirts of the town where his family lived.
Boda boda riders escorted the van carrying the body as it was driven into the homestead and when it was driven out after prayers were offered.
The fallen officer had served in the town before he was transferred to Nakuru County where he met his death after allegedly being shot by Ms Kangogo, who later seemingly took her own life.
“The late Ogweno was a close friend of mine. I am here to mourn not only an officer but a friend who died at a prime age when his services were needed by the society,” said Mr Erick Bett, Kipchebor Member of County Assembly.
“He is among the officers who gave the police service a good name by treating members of the public with respect and rooted for dispute resolution in times of conflict,” said Mr Bett.
The late Ogweno was also known in the densely populated estate as a quiet but outgoing officer who earned respect from members of the public, where his family operated a night club.
“He was a good man who freely mingled with members of the public and unless you found him in uniform, it was difficult for anyone to know he was a police officer,” said Mr Edwin Mitei, a boda boda rider.
Police had a hard time controlling members of the public who surged towards the casket to catch a glimpse of the body in the coffin draped in a police flag.
A tent was erected outside the homestead where the body was placed upon arrival from Nakuru.
Viewing of the body was concluded within an hour after which it was transported to Sengre village in Oyugis, Homa Bay County. Here, tears flowed freely as relatives and colleagues mourned Mr Ongweno.
At the Friday burial ceremony, Inspector General of Police Hilllay Mutyambai, in a condolence message read by Nakuru East Sub-County Police Commander Phanton Analo, described the deceased as an industrious, knowledgeable, social and hardworking police officer who worked closely with colleagues and civilians.
Junior police officers who attended the burial said the cruel hand of death has robbed the National Police Service.
Ogweno left behind a widow with two children. He was the first born in a family of three siblings.
Politicians who attended the burial asked the Ministry of Interior, headed by Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang'i, to consider reviving police reforms in order to address the welfare of police to minimise cases of violence.
Led by Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga and Kojwach Ward MCA Joan Ogada, the leaders also asked the government to increase salaries paid to police officers.
They also asked for more psychological support in the National Police Service.
As the government digs deeper into the death of Constable Ongweno, there has been concern over the welfare of police officers.
Additional reporting by Vitalis Kimutai