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Kericho stadium gunman pleads his innocence

by kenya-tribune

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The man at the centre of a gun incident during a recent SportPesa Premier League match at the Kericho Green Stadium says he did not plan to use the firearm during the publicised scuffle with Bandari players, which has attracted public outrage.

Photos show the man, whom Nation Sport has identified as Wycliffe Kiplangat, initially collecting himself from the stadium pitch after apparently being shoved to the ground by an unknown person.

Subsequent pictures show him appearing to reach for a pistol placed on his waist despite being restrained from confronting a group of Bandari players.

He is then seen being led away.

When Nation Sport reached out to Kiplangat on Tuesday, the man who says he’s a former footballer and currently attached to Ainamoi lawmaker David Too’s security detail, explained he went to the stadium as part of the MP’s advance party.

At the time, the sports facility was hosting a league match pitting Zoo Kericho and Bandari, which ended 1-1.

Kiplangat , ho says he played for top-flight side Chemelil Sugar during the 2010/2011 league seasons, adds he went to the pitch side after the final whistle to ‘greet’ Bandari kit manager Ken Onyanchi, who was his teammate.

“I told Onyanchi, we (Zoo Kericho) would have won the match if the referee had added another five minutes. One of the Bandari players overheard me and shoved me to the ground, exposing my firearm,” Kiplangat explains.

“As a trained officer, I’m only allowed to use a gun for another gun. I never planned to use this weapon. If you look at the pictures, you will see guys standing and watching. I am not sure anyone will stand and watch when a firearm is about to be used. They will run away.”

The Kericho County government has condemned this incident, while the Kenyan Premier League management has launched investigations with Bandari calling for ‘justice’.

This is the second gun incident in a local football match in as many years, leading to questions over the safety of footballers, coaches and referees.

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