22-year-old Collins Kipleting Serem, also known as Reng Star, is a benga artist based in Kamplemur village in Sugoi, Kenya.
How police tricked DP Gachagua's impersonator into arrest
Collins overheard a phone conversation between the detectives and tried to escape, causing a confrontation with the local villagers
On December 18, detectives arrested him for impersonating Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on a fake Facebook account.
The detectives traced Collins' phone to Kipleting market, where he was playing pool with friends, and convinced him to come with them by pretending they wanted him to perform at a nearby establishment.
However, Collins overheard a phone conversation between the detectives and tried to escape, causing a confrontation with the local villagers.
The detectives were eventually able to arrest and take Collins to Nairobi for questioning with the help of the local police and Abraham Samoei, the Operations Manager at Joyful Women Organisation.
In his statement, Collins said his motive was to gain followers on the page by impersonating the Deputy President and then change the page's name to his stage name, "Reng Star," to promote his music.
After completing his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in 2017 he did not manage to advance to college but he received a TVET scholarship for Motor Vehicle Technology in 2019.
After completing the course and returning home without a job, he started a bodaboda business with a loan from his father and used the profits to pursue his music career.
However, his music failed to gain significant traction and he created a fake Facebook page to gain more followers.
On November 17, the Deputy President launched the National Steering Committee on Drought Response and announced a hunger drive pay bill number for Kenyans to donate to drought victims.
The suspect the published a similar post on the fake Facebook page urging Kenyans to contribute to a public fundraiser for those suffering from drought.
However, Collins posted his personal bank account information and a pay bill number on his fake page, encouraging people to donate to the same cause.
He claimed to have only gotten Sh6 from the post. At the time he had accumulated over 14,000 followers.
Besides extorting money, the 22-year-old also gave misleading information about the government.
In one post he announced the appointment of a former nominated member of parliament Wilson Sossion as the Teacher Services Commission (TSC) chief executive officer (CEO), which was false.
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