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Man arrested by police in Kwale still missing, family says

Monday December 16 2019

Ms Mwanakombo Abdulrahman

Ms Mwanakombo Abdulrahman (centre) speaks to journalists on December 16, 2019. The mother of 20-year-old Rashid Kombo said he was allegedly arrested by police officers on Thursday last week and is yet to be found. PHOTO | FADHILI FREDRICK | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

FADHILI FREDRICK
By FADHILI FREDRICK
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A family in Kwale is pleading with the police to produce their 20-year-old son whom they allegedly arrested on allegations of being a member of a terrorist group.

Mr Rashid Kombo, a madrassa teacher in Mulungunipa village in Msambweni Sub-County is said to have been arrested by a contingent of police officers on Thursday last week.

According to his mother, Ms Mwanakmbo Abdulrahman, the police officers stormed her house and allegedly stole Sh10,000.

BUNDLED INTO CAR

"They were looking for my two sons but managed to arrest one while he was coming home on a bicycle and forcibly bundled him into their car and drove away," she said.

She added that they mishandled her son and after they left they found his hat and the sandals he wore on that fateful day.

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The mother wept as she addressed journalists in Ukunda town accompanied by relatives and officials of Muslims for Human Rights (Muhuri).

The missing man’s cousin, Shamakame Rumba, said the State is better placed to answer their queries since Mr Kombo was taken by police officers.

"As a family we want the State to bring him, dead or alive, because it is stressing us," he said.

The matter was reported at Diani Police Station under OB No. 57/13/12/19 but the family says they have been unable to trace their kin as police accounts have failed to detail his whereabouts.

IMPUNITY

Muhuri Rapid Response Officer Francis Ouma accused police officers of impunity.

He called on Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i to crack the whip on the officers, saying enforced disappearance in the county have been the order of the day.

"We cannot work as if we are not guided by the rule of law. Families have lost their relatives in unclear circumstances and when they follow up they are denied vital information on the whereabouts of their kin," he said, adding this must come to an end.

He blamed most of the disappearances and abductions on State agencies involved in the fight against terrorism and violent gangs.

FORCED DISAPPEARANCES

Mr Ouma said this year alone, they have recorded at least 30 cases of forced disappearance of people in the county.

He demanded for an update from the police on Mr Kombo.

Msambweni Sub-County Police Commander Nehemiah Bitok said he is not aware of the issue since he is away, but promised to follow up on the matter.

"We will follow up on the matter," he told the Nation by phone.

Another family in Ukunda is agonising over the mysterious disappearance of their relative, 35-year-old Juma Said Sarai.

Relatives said that Mr Sarai was bundled into a double cabin vehicle on October 4, 2019 at their Kibundani home.

He is yet to be found.