Police Constable Bernard Sivo shoots lover 15 times, turns gun on self
At Kwanza Estate, her two-year-old son played outside their three-roomed house oblivious of the fact that his mother had been killed by her policeman lover, who sprayed her with bullets in the most unlikely place—the hospital.
In the events reminiscent of those in action packed movies, Police Constable Bernard Sivo, 28, killed Mary Nyambura, 29, inside a treatment room at Njoro Sub-County Hospital where she had been rushed to after a bloody fight earlier.
And, when the gun fell silent, the two-year old boy and his seven-year old sister had been left motherless through a moment of madness by the man who offered their mother deep love and a sense of protection in the relationship that lasted more than two years.
Recounting the scenes that not only left neighbours shaken but also captured national attention, Njoro Sub-County police boss Jonathan Kisaka described the incident as a bolt from the blue, saying the two had a close-knit relationship.
In his own estimation, the two love birds had been together for a “long time”, saying they always saw them together; adding that they had never heard them quarreling or any disputes between them—the ideal role model for lovers.
But, curiously, Sivo, who also turned the gun on himself and sent a bullet through his head, lived with his wife and three children within the same area.
They have also been thrown into mourning, thanks to the unprecedented incident.
Describing Sivo as an obedient, disciplined and quiet officer, Kisaka said he reported for duty as usual at 11pm and did everything right as required of him.
“He was in what we call the last shift,” the officer said.
“After the official handover, he said he was going outside to make a call but unbeknown to us, he had other plans… he went to the hospital where the lady was being treated and shot her dead,” he said, adding that he shot her 15 times.
Kisaka, however, said the duo had fought during the day and Nyambura sustained a fractured leg.
According to witnesses, Sivo spent the better part of Sunday afternoon with the mother of two at a local joint, before a quarrel broke out between them, resulting in a fight that left the latter with a broken leg.
Nyambura, who worked in a wines and spirits shop in the locality was rushed to the hospital by a boda boda operator while Sivo proceeded to work only to follow and finish her off.
The gunshots broke the silence of an otherwise peaceful night, sending everybody including guards, patients and medics; scampering for safety.
Once done, he walked back to the station—a distance of about one kilometer—where he announced his reappearance—by firing indiscriminately. “It caught all of us unawares because these things rarely happen in a police station,” Kisaka said.
He said that they were forced to call for reinforcement from adjacent police posts and once the attacker realised he was outnumbered, he turned the gun on himself.
“He knew it was either he surrenders or he is killed, he chose the latter,” he said.
Kisaka said the officer, who is just four years old in the job, called his wife informing her that he had killed Nyambura before turning the gun on his chin.
Previously attached to the Administration Police, Njoro was his first posting.
Incident comes at a time when the country is grappling with rising cases of police officers engaging in criminal activities. “We must admit, there is a problem because that is the only way we can get a solution,” Kisaka said.
“We know people are going through different challenges but the best way to overcome them is to talk with trusted friends or family… killing is not a solution,” he added.
Another officer who sought anonymity attributed the sorry state of affairs to failure by people to cope with financial pressures. “Some of them have taken huge loans and squared it with women and alcohol,” he said.
And, at the estate where Nyambura lived with her two children, neighbours discussed the sudden twist of events in hushed tones.
Nancy Wangari, 64, said he had seen the couple coming and leaving hand in hand on many occasions.
“He is a young quiet man. I have seen them together many times,” she said.
Wangari regretted that a Form One student committed suicide recently after her mother failed to take her to the school she had been admitted.
“She had been admitted to a bigger school but the mother could not afford it so she got her another one in the neighbourhood,” said Wangari.
“We are still coming to terms with her death and then this one has happened… it is terrible and we pray to God to clean our neighbourhood of the spirit of death,” she added.
Another neighbour, Judith Kimaita, 24, described Nyambura as a hardworking young woman, who always prioritised the interest of her two children.
“She loved her children so much and you could see that from the way she handled them,” she said.
“I wish Sivo just thought about the two little children before doing what he did… look at the trouble he has put these innocent children who will now grow like orphans,” she said.
At Nyambura’s house, we met Milly Parongo, who the deceased had employed to take care of the children as she went out eking a living. “To be honest, I am very shocked,” she said.
Parongo said she often goes home for the weekend and that was the same case last week.
“I usually leave on Friday and rejoin them on Monday morning,” she said.
Parongo said Nyambura had tried calling her several times but since her phone was off she could not reach her. “Nyambura was a good person, friendly and caring,” she said.