Dead for no cause: Kin agonise about relatives who die in police hands

Thursday, April 29th, 2021 00:00 |
Relatives of Elijah Obuong one of the four people who went missing last week at the Murang’a DCI offices after positively identifying his body at the Murang’a County Government Mortuary. Photo/PD/REBECCA WANGARI

Tuesday arrest of Pius Migiro in Githurai 45 and the recovery of his body at the City Mortuary is the latest in a growing list of crime suspects who disappear, only to be found dead.

Migiro was nabbed by police officers attached to Githurai police station on Tuesday evening over an alleged defilement case in Meru, only for his body to be discovered at the City mortuary a day later.

 “He was last seen while in the company of the police, how he ended up at the City Mortuary remains a mystery to me,” his uncle David Ondabu said. 

And yesterday, the body of one of the four friends who disappeared in Kitengela, Kajiado county on Monday, October 19, was discovered in Mathioya river in Murang’a county, stashed in a gunny bag.

Just like some of the families of the Kitengela families are still combing mortuaries in search of their relatives, the family of Dennis Odhiambo Omwawa has not heard from him since he went missing early this month.

On April 11, Odhiambo, 24, a shoe vendor was going about his business alongside his colleagues when two men who introduced themselves as police officers arrived. 

They went straight towards him and had a chat with him before they handcuffed and whisked him away.

To date, Odhiambo has never been seen and his family in Njiru was yesterday pointing fingers at the police over his disappearance.

A distraught Ms Janet Odhiambo told People Daily the last time she spoke to her son was a day before he was picked up by the officers and everything was okay. 

“I am now wishing I knew that it was the last time I would speak to him, I would have told him to come home. Where could he be?” Odhiambo told People Daily. 

She accused police of refusing to shed light on her son’s whereabouts, given that they are the ones who picked him up on the day he disappeared.

She is appealing to police to disclose to her the whereabouts of her son, dead or alive. “if he is dead, let them release the body to me, that way, I will be at peace with myself,” says Ms Odhiambo.

To make life better

She described her son as a silent man who was always determined to make his life better. Police sources at Ruiru station yesterday revealed that the matter was in their hands. 

IPOA boss Anne Makori said the organisation has received a few complaints where police have been accused of allegedly arresting and causing the disappearance of people after arrest.

She gave an example of the case of the late lawyer Willie Kimani and his allies which happened in 2016.

“In such instances, IPOA investigates the complaints to establish if the perpetrators are indeed police officers.

Most of the time, the victims reappear afterwards having fallen out of communication. 

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