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Family of missing KWS driver cries for help

Thursday February 27 2020
kws man

KWS driver James Murimi, 34, who has been missing for almost two months. PHOTO | COURTESY

By GEORGE MUNENE

A Kirinyaga family is appealing to the government to help trace their son who disappeared mysteriously almost two months ago.

Mr James Murimi, a 34-year-old driver with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), disappeared after dropping his boss, Senior Warden Tom Hamisi, in Naivasha where he was to attend an official meeting.

The driver was based at Maralal KWS offices.

According to his mother Josephine Kabari, Murimi was last seen alive on January 16.

Ms Kabari, a widow, recalled that her son called and informed her that he had arrived in Naivasha.

"Even before I finished talking to my son, his phone went off and I wondered what had really gone wrong," Ms Kabari said in an interview in Kegua Village, Kirinyaga County.

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She says she later received information that her son never returned to pick up his boss or to his Maralal work station.

"On receiving the information, I mobilised other members of the family and we embarked on a thorough search for Murimi. We have looked for him everywhere, including hospitals, but in vain," she said.

'NO HELP'

The family has reported the matter at the Naivasha police station and recorded statements but says no progress has been made.

The incident was recorded under OB number 21/21/1/2020.

"Police have not assisted us in any way. Even KWS officials have remained silent over the matter," said Ms Kabari.

"We, as the family, are pleading with the government to help us," she told the Nation in Kegua Village in Gichugu Constituency.

The family also wants KWS held responsible should something bad happen to him.

"That day our son was on official duty and we suspect foul play," said Mr Eric Muriithi, the brother.

Contacted for comment, Mr Hamisi admitted that the driver had disappeared, adding that the matter was under investigation.

"It is true Mr Murimi has gone missing but we have reported the matter to police," he said.

KWS reported the matter at Naivasha police station under OB number 53/17/1/2020.

Mr Hamisi said that before his disappearance, Mr Murimi had received a transfer letter to Nairobi and was supposed to report to his new station after the Naivasha meeting was over.

"When he drove me to Naivasha, he never came back for me. I waited for him for long to take me back to Maralal but he never showed up," he said.

He dismissed as untrue claims by the family that KWS was not taking the matter seriously.

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