Mombasa leaders raise concern over missing persons

Two Mombasa legislators have vowed to present a joint censure motion in Parliament seeking to summon Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai and Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss George Kinoti over missing persons in the country.

Mvita Member of parliament Abdulswamad Nassir and Mombasa senator Mohamed Faki want the trio summoned in a joint Senate and the National Assembly committee to shed light on disappearance of Prof. Abdiwahab Sheikh Abdusamad and subsequent discovery of mutilated bodies of persons in Tana River.

Prof. Abdusamad, a horn of Africa analyst is reported to have been accosted by unknown people along Turbman road next to City Market and bundled into a standby vehicle before it sped off and efforts by his family to search in police stations have so far borne no fruits

A censure motion is an action by the National Assembly or the Senate rebuking the actions or conduct of an individual over a matter of public interest.

The two legislators have also vowed to mobilize other like-minded members of parliament and senators to do it within constitutional procedures.

“We are saddened by these actions, we will work this jointly because someone must be accountable for all these actions, we are presenting a joint motion this week, to summon the top government security officials to give answers as to why these ills are happening to Kenyans,” said Nassir.

The legislators spoke in Mombasa Sunday during a joint press briefing convened by the Mombasa Somali community, where they aired their disappointment over increased cases of disappearance of persons without a trace.

Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir (centre) with Mombasa Senator Mohamed Faki (left) and Mombasa Somali community chairman Mohamed Ibrahim

“If this kind of abductions continues and nobody explains why they are happening, then as leaders we feel something is not right. This country is governed by laws, and someone must be accountable for their actions, they must come before the house and explain to us,” said Faki.

The family of the professor is seeking answers on his whereabouts after he was abducted in the Nairobi Central Business District.

Mohamed Huri Ibrahim, Mombasa County Somali community Chairman said the manner of disappearance is evoking emotions of many Kenyans and should not be encouraged.

He wants President Uhuru Kenyatta to come to the aid of families who have lost their kin in unclear circumstances.

“We are appealing to our president to hear our cry, if there is anything wrong Abdusamad had done, let him be presented to court. We are asking the head of state to help the families get their loved ones,” Ibrahim said.

The 55-year-old analyst is reported to have been abducted along Turbman road next to City Market as he went about his business, when four men disembarked a double cabin pick up, handcuffed him and forced him into the vehicle before driving off.

Human Rights organization Haki Africa now says it will file an application in court seeking to compel authorities to produce Abdiwahab dead or alive. Also agitated is the family of Abdulhakim Sagar who was abducted by unknown people in Old town in August 18 and has not been traced to date.

“We are bitter as a family, why can’t they produce him in court, we are kept in the dark and it’s so painful, we suspect the people who abducted him are police officers,” said Fari Sagar, brother to the abducted man.

According to the legislators, the authorities will also be required to explain about some 11 bodies of unidentified persons lying at the Garissa Referral Hospital Mortuary after Haki Africa reported some decomposed bodies were recovered in Tan River County.

At least 11 unidentified and unclaimed bodies are currently lying at the Garissa Referral Hospital mortuary, HAKI Africa, a Mombasa-based human rights organization has said.

HAKI Africa released a statement following a visit to Garissa County saying the bodies were recovered from River Tana on diverse dates over a period of three months.

The human rights organization said examination of the bodies indicated that the victims had been tortured before being killed.

“HAKI Africa is currently in Garissa Referral Hospital following up on 11uknown bodies, some of them mutilated, recovered and dumped in River Tana. It is alleged that the 11 bodies were brought in over the last three months on different dates. From our findings, the bodies were not found in one incident,” said Haki Africa executive director.

Police in the two counties of Garissa and Tana River say it has been difficult to begin investigations into the identities of the 11 because no one has come out to record statements on missing persons.

According to Dr. Ambrose Misori, the Garissa County Medical Superintendent, 11 bodies that have yet to be identified were brought in three months ago and almost all of the bodies showed signs of torture, with the majority of them having their feet and hands tied.

According to Ali Ndiema, the Tana North Sub County Police Commander, police were unable to extract fingerprints from the bodies because they were badly decomposed.

  

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