Samson Kipchirchir Kipruto
Caption for the landscape image:

Second wife, blood pressure, anger issues: Shocking details of policeman who shot judge

Scroll down to read the article

Chief Inspector Samson Kipchirchir Kipruto who fatally shot Makadara Principal Magistrate Monica Kivuti (inset).

Photo credit: Pool

Chief Inspector Samson Kipchirchir Kipruto, the officer commanding Londiani Police Station (OCS) in Kericho County, had repeatedly told colleagues, friends and some members of the public about his battle with high blood pressure.

It emerged that in the three years or so he had been in charge of the station, the man had shown erratic reactions - sometimes in fits of rage - when dealing with cases, the public and administrative matters.

It emerged that the officer had taken a day off work, but had not told his superiors the nature of the issue he wanted to deal with, nor had he informed them that he would be travelling outside the station.

In a horrific incident, Kipruto shot and wounded Makadara Principal Magistrate Monica Kivuti shortly after she cancelled a bond granted to his partner Wairimu, said to be 48, after she skipped a court appearance. The case was set for mention on 17 June.

Ms Kivuti died on Saturday from injuries sustained in the 13 June incident that shocked the country.

Fellow police officers in the courtroom fired back at the officer who had gone berserk, killing him instantly as he came down in a hail of bullets at 1.45pm on Wednesday.

 Police officers - Augustine Michael Kithumbi, Maureen Lepes and Eunice Macharia - who were at the court premises at the time were involved in the shooting and were rushed to hospital.

Jennifer Wairimu, the woman involved, who was charged with obtaining Sh2.9 million by false pretense, runs a clinic in Kahurura/ Chepkongony area, a residential area on the outskirts of Londiani town.

The man is said to have two other wives, one in Eldoret and another who is a Chief Inspector of Police currently undergoing training at Kiganjo Police Training College in Nyeri County.

"His wife (the policewoman), like most members of the public and colleagues, got the news of the shooting from social media. She was shocked to learn that another woman was involved," a friend of the couple told the Nation in Kericho.

At 55, the slain policeman, who has now joined his victim at the morgue, had five years left in the National Police Service.

 Ms Agnes Kunga, the Kipkelion East Sub County Police Commander, and other senior officers in the region declined to comment on the matter due to its sensitivity.

“The Inspector General of Police (Japet Koome) has spoken on the matter. Naturally, the matter is beyond us, for now,” Ms Kunga said.

 Officers at the station confided in us that they did not want to come into contact with the OCS when he was in a bad mood.

“He was a very emotional boss and could get physical very easily with suspects under interrogation at the station or during security operations. It is not a surprise that he committed the offence that led to his death” a junior officer at the station said.

Quick to anger

Another officer said “He was quick to anger and often verbally abused those working under him at the police station”

 The residents of Londiani were still reeling on Friday from the shock of what happened more than 200 kilometres away.

"We are still reeling from the shock of the incident as the officer was known and feared by many in Londiani," said Lucy Njeri, a businesswoman.

Ms Njeri said: 'We can't understand how an officer who was supposed to provide us with security and lock up criminals could shoot a magistrate who was handling a case of a person related to him. 

Mr Ben Siele, a lawyer from Kipkelion East, said he had repeatedly raised the issue of the erratic nature of his handling of cases with his superiors at county level, but no action had been taken.

Mr Siele confirmed that the fallen officer had repeatedly told him and those seeking services from the station that he did not want to be pressured as he was battling high blood pressure.

"I raised the issue with his superiors and asked them to look into his case as he complained of hypertension whenever he was questioned about the way he handled and completed cases brought to the station. Unfortunately, no action was taken before Thursday's unfortunate incident in Nairobi," Mr Siele said in an interview.

Beating three boys

Of particular interest, Mr Siele said, were two cases involving the beating of women by Kenya Forest Service (KFS) rangers, which he delayed handling until an internal administrative action was taken by the KFS which found the officers guilty and led to their dismissal from service.

Another case involved the beating of three boys by KFS rangers at Makutano forest station for alleged trespassing in January 2024. The boys were allegedly robbed of food and goods that their parents had sent them to buy at the Londiani trading centre.

It took the intervention of Senate Majority Leader Aaron Cheruiyot for action to be taken against the officers.

“We are asking for an audit and review of the cases that were handled by the OCS at the station as there is concern that the wrong people were punished for what they did not do, while the culprits were let off the hook” Mr Siele said.

Mr Siele said there was a case of a Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) student (OB21/26/09/2023) who was allegedly assaulted by a principal of a girls’ school she was admitted to leading to her being admitted at Londiani Sub County Hospital, but no action was taken against the teacher.

“We have repeatedly followed up the matter, with little progress made. It is one of the cases that should be reviewed by senior officers” Mr Siele stated.

The officer was also said to have been a common patron in bars and wine shops in the area, some of which were not affected by the crackdown that ensued following the recent directive by the government to close the outlets.

“In the last two and a half years, we have had many challenges operating the bars and wine shops irrespective of whether we had trading licences or not” A  woman who operates a wine shop in Londiani, but did not want to be named said in an interview.

She said “We faced a lot of harassment from the security officers working under the slain OCS while others where he patronised were left to operate before the stipulated hours and way beyond the closing time”