A police office sacked after being presumed dead or gone AWOL has just been out of a nine-month coma following a hit and run accident.
Constable Reuben Kimutai Lel was sacked in absentia after he did not turn up to work for weeks, his family gave up the search for him and presumed him dead after they couldn’t locate him and he did not make contact.
It turns out he was the victim of a car accident and had been in coma in one of the country’s largest hospitals the entire time. He only recently regained consciousness.
His niece, Joan Jeptoo, told of the family’s horror as they searched for his body in morgues after having given up hope on his survival. At one point, they were on the verge of collecting a decomposing body from a morgue that they’ve been called to identify.
“We assumed he was dead because his phone was turned off. We went to collect a body that was said to resemble him earlier this year, but the fingerprints didn’t match “She stated.
On 21 December 2020, Constable Reuben Kimutai Lel was taken as an unknown person to Nairobi’s main referral hospital with no form of identification on him.
Meanwhile, at work he was charged in absentia with desertion, and an arrest warrant issued. Charges were later dropped after police were unable to locate him.
Constable Kimutai Lel regained consciousness last week, and while he has yet to regain full memory, he was able to identify himself by name and that he was a police officer, prompting the search for his relatives. His niece was contacted by police last Wednesday and told to go to the hospital to identify him.
“I tracked him down at Kenyatta National Hospital, he didn’t recognise me, nor did he recognise the names of his family members. “She stated.
He has now been discharged and recovering at home in Koibatek, Baringo county, with the help of his wife and family.
While plans are underway by the Police to reinstate Reuben Kimutai Lel, his niece stated that the constable, who is in his late 50s, is looking forward to retirement.