North Rift families in agony over kin reported missing
Wycliff Kipsang @wsang08
When he left his wife and children in Eldoret to travel to his rural home in Chepkorio, Elgeyo Marakwet county on May 22, Abraham Kimeli was in high spirits.
But his family has been in the lowest of spirits since that day as Kimeli neither made it to his rural home nor did he come back to his Eldoret home.
According to his wife Caroline Kiplagat, her husband who worked with Buzeki Company, had on the fateful day reported to work and requested for a day off to attend a family meeting.
“At first we were not alarmed after his phone went off as there is poor network coverage in his rural home. However, I got worried when he remained unreachable until 8pm. Relatives in Chepkorio later informed us that he did not reach home,” a teary Kiplagat told People Daily in Eldoret.
Also living in agony is the family of Linda Kipkoech from Eldama Ravine in Baringo County.
She disappeared a month ago at Moi’s Bridge in Uasin Gishu County where she had gone to visit her aunt, according to her elder brother Dennis Kipkoech.
“If you’ve seen her, anywhere around Moi’s Bridge please inform us or report to Moi’s Bridge Police Station,” said Kipkoech.
Cases of people being kidnapped or disappearing in unclear circumstances have been on the rise in the recent past in the North Rift region.
Investigation by People Daily has established that the kidnappers ensnare their victims by posing as taxi operators only to drug and rob them.
Prisca Magut, 40, a secondary school teacher is the latest to fall victim to kidnappers.
On the evening of Sunday June 6, Magut was going back to work after spending the weekend at her rural home.
After waiting for a matatu at Mosoriot bus stage on the Eldoret-Kapsabet-Kisumu highway for long, she waved down a private car and asked for a lift.
The occupiers agreed to carry her and charged Sh50.
Police believe the kidnappers drugged her when she boarded the vehicle.
“Within minutes of boarding the car she fell into a deep sleep. We found her in Awasi (Kisumu County),” said Chesumei sub-county police boss Bosita Omukolongolo.
Her husband, David Magut said that when he called his wife to inquire whether she had arrived at school, the phone was switched off.
After several subsequent attempts to reach her failed, the family reported the matter to the Mosoriot Police Post.
Through the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI), the police traced her phone to Iten Town in Elgeyo-Marakwet County.
The phone was, however, switched off while still in the same location.
At around 8am on Tuesday last week, Magut received a call from the police that his wife had been found in Awasi Police Station in Kisumu County.
She was taken to Kapsabet County Referral Hospital where she was examined and given a clean bill of health.
“There were no physical injuries or sexual abuse indicated in the hospital report. She has been allowed to go home. We expect her to give us more details which can lead to the arrest of the perpetrators,” said Omukolongolo.
Magut, a teacher at Kapkechui Secondary School, is yet to comprehend the traumatising ordeal she went through.
“All I remember is that it was 8pm and I was waiting for a matatu but there was no public service vehicle prompting me to approach the occupants of a private vehicle.
The last thing I remember is boarding the vehicle after one of them assured me that they were driving towards Chepterit. I can’t remember anything else,” she said.
Magut said a middle-aged man in the car asked her to pay them Sh50 which convinced her that they were conversant with the route.
She recalled that there were three other occupants in the car, one man seated in the shotgun seat and two women sitting in the back seats.
Omukolongolo said the police were pursuing her kidnappers.
The officer confirmed that there has been an increase in cases of kidnapping along the busy highway and urged members of the public to avoid asking strangers for a lift.