A Kenya Wildlife Service official on Thursday ejected Star reporter from a compensation negotiation meeting for a teacher attacked by a hyena on Valentine’s Day.
Joseph Kisio, a senior warden attached to Kajiado KWS office, said he was not comfortable with media cameras and therefore told journalist Kurgat Marindany to leave his office.
“I am doing this in good faith because anything said here might be reported by the media and yet my boss is away and has not sanctioned me to talk on his behalf. I do not want trouble with my seniors,” said Kisio, whose position is equivalent to that of a chief inspector of police.
Trouble began when Kajiado Kenya National Union of Teachers county secretary, Elly Korinko, told the officer that the media must be told why KWS ignored to take care of teacher John Matipei’s hospital bills even after they had been informed of the hyena attack that almost took his life.
Kisio said he is only a junior officer in the service and may not be comfortable in explaining some of the issues raised by Korinko in front of cameras.
The Star reporter left as demanded and left Korinko, Matipei, and his wife in the meeting where they were told how to follow up the issue of compensation.
“He told us that compensation will be based on the extent of the injuries I received from the hyena attack. They want all the medical receipts which will later be compiled before I am compensated,” Matipei told the Star outside the KWS offices.
Matipei said that from the way Kisio spoke, he is not seeing KWS paying him compensation soon. “He said that KWS will only start processing my compensation after I have completely healed. This means I will have to go for several months before it happens,” he added.
He said his hands require physiotherapy which costs Sh10, 000 per session. He receives two physiotherapy sessions per week as recommended by his doctor.
“My National Insurance Hospital card does not cover physiotherapy. I come to Kajiado hospital twice a week along with my wife for wounds dressing and all these require money,” said the teacher.
Matipei, the teacher who made history for biting a hyena’s nose after the beast attacked him and bit off a large piece of flesh from his left thigh, appealed to the government to provide more teachers at his Emukutani Primary School.
Korinko accused the KWS of ignoring Matipei and refusing to provide him transport to the hospital in times of need.
“As a union, we are not happy by what KWS is displaying out. Matipei is now incapacitated and cannot go back to work soon. He spent almost a month in hospital with his wife leaving their young children unattended back home, and here KWS is not even concerned about him,” said Korinko.
He said many teachers in the remotest parts of the county face many hardships because of lack of proper houses and poor infrastructure.
“Teachers are under pressure to make children pass national examinations in an environment that is wild to teachers and their pupils too. Wild animals are moving free all over and their safety is not guaranteed. Today we have seen how KWS is conducting itself,” said Korinko.