ODM communications director Philip Etale attacked

ODM Director of Communication Philip Etale in hospital. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Nairobi, KENYA: ODM communications director Philip Etale is recovering from an attack on Monday night which he says left him in shock and in tears, with him not knowing the motive behind the attack.

Etale through a Facebook post on Tuesday, said that he suffered a pepper-spray attack by unknown people on Monday evening, as he left popular eatery Ranalo restaurant for his home.

“Dear God, I once again thank you for giving me another day to LIVE. Last night’s ordeal was heartbreaking. At some point, I almost gave up on life. It was so painful and left me asking many questions. I have woken up still in shock and tears rolling down my cheeks, not that I am not a MAN but because of thinking of the motive behind the attack.” Etale posted.

Etale says after the loss of his mom and son in a span of one year, he went into depression in June 2015 and has been managing sugar issues.

He adds that ever since that  experience, he has been taking traditional food, and that is why he ended up at Ranalo restaurant before the attack.

“I was in the company of my friend Phelix G-cord and was later joined by my other friend Onyango Kevin. My old best friend Oliver Mugo also joined us.

“…as usual, I couldn’t end my stay at Ranalo without acknowledging greetings from the many people who know me. I love making friends. I had a good time with my friends and decided to leave at 10:10pm for my house to rest for the day.”

He adds that he was ambushed as he walked towards his car outside the I&M building.

“I parked my car outside I&M building. So I parted ways with Kevin and Mugo who reside along Thika Road and started walking towards my car with Phelix who was slightly ahead of me as I had to stop outside Nation Centre to greet someone who only told me “Etale I am from Karatina and I love what you do”. I started walking towards CFC Stanbic bank slowly so that I could catch-up with Phelix who had already crossed the road. While in the middle of the road, a small saloon car drove by and I stopped to let it pass. I didn’t see the number of occupants. All of a sudden, just in a split of a second, some pulled out, sprayed some strong substance on my face and directed into my eyes and the car sped off towards Total gas station on Kimathi Street.”


” The substance got me confused and had me start shouting for help. Luckily, Phelix had me scream and came back. He shouted out Kevin’s name and together with Mugo who were walking past the Bata shoe shop, rushed to the scene. I lost my conscious and Phelix reached out to the car as Kevin and Mugo looked for water to clean my eyes. I was in total pain. They rushed me to Nairobi Hospital. I recollected myself after the quick response by the doctors and nurses on duty. Then I could see some of my friends Lee Makwiny Adede Adede, Charles Mark Dienya Benson Musungu among others by the bedside. I had started seeing although the pain was still unbearable. I was released to go home at around 1:30am.”

The experienced left Etale with so many questions, he however avoided to speculate on why somebody intended to  harm to him.

‘Dear friends, I asked God many Questions including ‘WHY ME?’. I have not taken anyone’s anything, I have not eaten what doesn’t belong to me. God has been so faithful to me. I don’t know the intention of the people in that Saloon car but God will reveal to me some day. The doctor said it was highly concentrated pepper spray that people with bad intentions use on their targets. I feel pained. I feel harassed. I feel targeted. I feel so so BAD. But it is well. I don’t want to speculate but leave it to the Almighty God. Amen.”

Pepper spray is commonly used by law enforcement and corrections agencies in the US to aid in subduing and arresting people whose behavior is violent or uncooperative.

According to medical experts, when one comes into contact with  pepper spray, their eyes will close immediately, followed by an experience a “bubbling” or “boiling” sensation, followed by temporary blindness and eye pain.

The effects last from 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how strong the spray solution is.