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Kenyan policeman fired while in nine-month coma

By Editor
24 September 2021   |   1:53 pm
A Kenyan police officer, Reuben Kimutai Lel, who was declared a deserter after going missing from work – and could not be found for nine months because no-one knew he'd been admitted to hospital – has resurfaced. According to local media reports, fellow police officers made enquiries of lel’s whereabouts from his family, who were…

FILE: A Kenyan traffic officer directs traffic in Nairobi.

A Kenyan police officer, Reuben Kimutai Lel, who was declared a deserter after going missing from work – and could not be found for nine months because no-one knew he’d been admitted to hospital – has resurfaced.

According to local media reports, fellow police officers made enquiries of lel’s whereabouts from his family, who were also desperately looking for him, but all that proved in vain.

Lel’s salary was stopped and he was charged in absentia. An arrest warrant was also issued against him but, after months of futile search, the case was withdrawn after police failed to find him.

However, it turned out that he had all along been in hospital in a coma – he was missing from December 2020 until last week, when he regained consciousness.

Although he had not regained his full memory, he was then able to identify himself by name and that he was a police officer who had been a victim of a road accident in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

He was admitted on 21 December as an unknown person at the main referral hospital in the city as he had no identity documents with him.

Lel is reportedly due to be reinstated on the police service’s payroll.