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5 KFS rangers arrested after teen’s death; mother speaks out

Five Kenya Forest Service (KFS) rangers have been arrested following the death of a 16-year-old boy they allegedly assaulted in Baringo County.

Stephen Mwangi, a Form Three student, was in intensive care at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret when he died after sustaining serious injuries to his head and ribs.

Mwangi was said to have gone to help his mother who was being harassed by the rangers in Koibatek.

The KWS officers then turned on him. Baringo County Police Commander Julius Kiragu said the rangers, who were based in Maji Mazuri forest, were arrested after the boy’s death.

Mwangi’s death sparked an uproar with locals demanding justice for the family.

Mr Kiragu said the rangers had been transferred from Eldama Ravine to Mogotio police station and would appear in court this morning.

“It is now a murder case. For their safety, we thought it would be better if they were transferred to a distant police station,” he said.

According to Mwangi’s mother, Mary Wambui, the teenager died at 11 pm on Monday, May 13. He had been in intensive care for two days.

Ms Wambui said she left the hospital in the evening, only to be told later that night that he had died.

“My son had not spoken since Wednesday. He was admitted to the ICU at 2 pm on Saturday. I don’t know what to do,” she said.

Residents of Eldama Gorge accused KFS rangers of harassing women, children and the elderly.

Ms Susan Wacuka, a resident, said some locals had complained of sexual harassment by rangers. Maji Mazuri MCA, Solomon Kuri, called for a thorough investigation into the teenager’s death.

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