My last wishes: Cop who committed suicide cremated, leaves last will

A policewoman who died by suicide was cremated at a private event in the city amid calls by colleagues to address the rising trend in the service.

Only a few friends and family members of Constable Edith Nyawira, 35,  attended the Thursday event. The family said this was per her wishes.

Those who attended the event said her ash was picked up for other rituals. The family said she left a note to her sister asking her to take care of her six-year-old son.

“She also wished her boyfriend goodbye but we do not know what motivated her actions,” a family member said.

On May 17, Nyawira blew up her head at the police camp in Limuru. The officer used a scorpion rifle.

Nyawira was attached to the Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit. Police said Nyawira was supposed to guard a local bank.

She however excused herself from work and went to her house where she shot herself and the bullet exited in the back of her head.

The team of investigators who visited the scene said they recovered three spent cartridges and two suicide notes addressed to the deceased’s sister and boyfriend.

On Saturday, a police constable attempted to commit suicide by swallowing a concoction believed to be poison.

Police said constable Bernard Ogada of Dujis police station, Mbalambala was found lying at his home following a domestic quarrel.

He was rushed to the hospital where he was admitted in stable condition.

This is the latest such incident to happen and affecting the service. At least a case is reported weekly, officials said.

On May 10, a police officer died by hanging himself in his house in Nabukon village, Turkana.

The body of Constable Francis Epem Erot, 44, was found in his bedroom.

Police suicides have been on the rise and most are blamed on stress and work-related trauma.

As part of efforts to address the problem, authorities have started a counselling programme for the officers.

The National Police Service Commission announced it had established the counselling unit to evaluate, design, and lead an outreach programme to deal with mental health problems and substance abuse.

The programme helps police families and others affected by mental health problems, substance abuse and trauma.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the government, NPS and the Prisons Service have enhanced counselling and medical help for officers.

“There is a deliberate drive to destigmatise mental illness and stress and to actively reach out to potential cases, including through the Nyumba Kumi initiative,” Matiang’i said.