Marathoner Wilson Kipsang, MCA busted drinking in resort during curfew

Wilson Kipsang in Berlin on September 25, 2016. [Photo: AFP PHOTO / John Macdougall]

A top athlete, an MCA and seven people were yesterday fined Sh5,000 each for being outside during curfew hours.

Former marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang and Kapchemutwa MCA Ambrose Kiplagat also known as Roho Juu were arrested by police on Thursday night after they were found drinking alcohol in a club owned by the athlete against state directive restricting night movements after 7pm.

Kipsang, the ward rep and the seven revellers are accused of locking themselves inside Keelu Resort and club and holding a liquor-drinking party and gambling.

The revellers, visibly intoxicated, were bundled into police vehicles at 8.30pm on Thursday, with some of them allegedly resisting arrest.

They were arraigned at Iten Magistrate’s Court yesterday where they pleaded guilty of violating a state curfew order.

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According to the charge sheet, Kipsang, the MCA and the revellers were drinking alcohol and playing pool contrary to the Public Order Act.

Prosecutor Clare Kosgei told Iten Senior Principal Magistrate Charles Kutwo that police officers heard loud noises from the resort and found the suspects inside it when they gained entry.

Serious offence

Kutwo termed the offence serious and fined each of the offenders Sh5,000 or two months in jail in default.

The offenders were given 14 days to appeal the ruling.

Kipsang, who is also a police inspector and a two-time London marathon champion who was two months ago accused by the world athletics governing body of violating anti-doping rules, and Mr Kiplagat secured their freedom after paying the Sh5,000.

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Elgeyo Marakwet police commander John Mwinzi said the suspects were arrested after a tip-off by the public. Mr Mwinxi said he was displeased that high profile individuals were defying the curfew and warned that the police may be forced to use force to enforce restrictions aimed at taming the spread of Covid-19.

“These are high profile individuals who should be helping us in the enforcement of the curfew,” Mr Mwinzi  said yesterday.

“The police will strictly arrest whoever violates curfew restrictions. We don’t care whether you are a police officer or an elected leader,” he warned.

Kipsang was last December involved in a road accident that extensively wrecked his car.