Slain Recce officer Bernard Tonui was yesterday laid to rest in his Cheleget Village in Bomet county where focus turned to Kenya’s war in Somalia with leaders and residents calling on President Uhuru to end the war.
Activist Boniface Mwangi, who travelled to Bomet to – in his own words – ‘bury’ the slain officer, later wrote:
Travelled to Cheleget village in Bomet County to bury Kenya’s hero Recce squad Bernard Tonui who was killed while rescuing Garissa University students. The menÂ who flew to Garissa to spectate while RECCe squad travelled by road didn’t attend the funeral. Bomet’s Governor is Isaac Ruto,he was also the area MP for 10 years. The area has no electricity,water or even roads and all the elected leaders arrived at the funeral using choppers. Three choppers landed to “witness” Tonui’s funeral. Tonui was in the police service for 18 years and twice he was trained in the USA. The government spent millions training him but by the time of his death he was earning about Ksh 36000 ($400). Police officers do not have life insurance and the medical cover they were supposed to get hasn’t been effected. Tonui meagre salary could only be enough to build a mud walled house for his wife Nelly and their four kids. The politicians arrived late,got the best seats,politicked for so long and they had to be begged to stop so the burial could happen before 6pm. Once the time came to bury Tonui,the politicians with their poorly paid bodyguards disappeared. Tonui is one of the many police officers who sacrifice their lives for us but once they’re buried we move on. A dead politician is worth millions in compensation,a dead cop gets a coffin and a lorry to transport the body. Police officers deserve better.
He is the only officer who was killed in the Garissa terror attack which also claimed the lives of over 300 students. Tonui is survived with wife and four children.
Photo credit: Boniface Mwangi.