Bungoma family mourns death of political violence victim

A boy walks past the stall where Ms Alice Khaemba sold groceries in Bungoma town. Ms Khaemba was shot and killed by a stray bullet as police tried to disperse supporters of Jubilee and Ford Kenya who clashed in Bungoma town on Friday. Ms Khaemba was closing her stall and trying to flee when she was hit by the stray bullet. PHOTO | RAPHAEL WANJALA

The family of Alice Khaemba is demanding stern action against the policeman who shot her.

Popularly known as ‘Kadogo’ in Bungoma town, Ms Khaemba, 37, died from a gunshot wound on Friday.

The mother of one was hurriedly closing her grocery stall to flee from political violence when she was hit by a stray bullet.

Khaemba was shot when supporters of Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka (Jubilee Party) and Wycliffe Wangamati (Ford Kenya) clashed.

The two groups ran into each other after the two candidates were cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to contest the governor’s seat.

Days later, Khaemba’s family is yet to come to terms with their loss, saying she was not involved in politics when she was shot.


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Rose Josephine, Khaemba’s older sister, said she sold groceries in town and had just come from getting fresh supplies from the market when the violence erupted.


“Khaemba was putting away her fruits, vegetables and other fresh produce when she was hit by a stray bullet,” said Josephine.

“My sister was just trying to earn a living. She had nothing to do with politics.”

Josephine said she was at work in a nearby hotel when someone rushed to tell her that her sister had been injured in the skirmishes.

She rushed out to find that her sister had been trying to run towards the hotel but was felled by the bullet just outside the entrance.

Josephine said a policeman walked to where Khaemba was lying and inquired how badly injured she was. He then called for an ambulance, which came and took her to hospital where she died.


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“It happened so fast and she was trying to run towards where I was but she did not make it,” said a sombre Josephine.

She described her sister as a jovial and soft-spoken person who interacted with others well. The family wants the national government to help them bury Khaemba.

According to Josephine, they are still waiting for their parents to come from Uganda to make a final decision on where Khaemba will be laid to rest.

Khaemba came from Musena, Sirongo district in Uganda, and had a teenage daughter. She is said to have been in the process of acquiring land in Ranje village on the outskirts of Bungoma town.


Adams Okutoyi, a neighbour, described her as a good woman who always had time for others.

“At no time did she cross anyone’s path or have any conflict with neighbours. We are deeply saddened by her death,” he said.


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A bodyguard attached to Bungoma Deputy Governor Hillary Chongwony has been detained in connection with the shooting.



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