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Delay of Sh60 million cash reward from govt leaves heroic officers in the dark

The officers said they risked their lives but their actions were unappreciated.

Joseph Juma Odhiambo escaped from Kamiti Maximum Security Prison in November, 2021.

Besides cash rewards, reservists hoped for the government to recognize them with the Head of State Commendation.

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Officers from the Kenya Police Reserve who captured Kamiti Maximum Security Prison jailbirds in Kitui in 2021 say they are still waiting to receive the Sh60 million bounty set by the Ministry of Interior.

The KPR officers led by Komu Kilonzi captured the terrorists in Kitui after the prison break, which drew the attention of retired President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Kenyatta would later sacked Commissioner of Prisons Wycliffe Ogallo after the incident.

Speaking to Nation, Kilonzi and his colleagues said they risked their lives to capture the escapees, but their actions were unappreciated.

The terrorists tried to fight off the reservists and offered to bribe the KPR officers in exchange for their freedom after being captured.

Musharaf launched himself at me, his massive frame shooting through the air and hitting me in the ribs. We both fell to the ground as he fought to flee from being captured. Luckily, I got the better of him and pinned him to the ground,’’ Kilonzi narrated.

His colleague added, “They told us that kampuni yetu ni kubwa (our group is large), referring to the Al Shabaab terror group, and that their masters would not hesitate to bail them out.

Besides cash rewards, reservists hoped for the government to recognize them with the Head of State Commendation.

In response to inquiries from the media following the prisoners' arrest and return to jail, Fred Matiang'i, the Interior Cabinet Secretary at the time, chose not to become involved in a discussion over who would get the bounty.

"No...no...no, we are not going there at the moment. Let us not be speculative about this. We are going to work on this meticulously as my colleagues have said,” he answered Citizen TV's Hussein Mugambi.

Other residents of the village near Boni forest have also laid claim to the Sh60 bounty.

Speaking to Citizen Digital, a man who identified himself as Paul Mulati said that he, alongside other villagers, initially identified the escapees by their movements, which he said clearly indicated that they were new to the area.

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