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Body of missing Siaya bishop found in Lake Victoria

Saturday February 22 2020

Roho Judea Church

Members of Roho Judea Church hold demos in Siaya town on January 28, 2020 to protest the abduction of their bishop Charles Oduor Awich. The bishop's body was on February 21 found in Sio Port, Busia County. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

DICKENS WASONGA
By DICKENS WASONGA
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The body of a Siaya bishop who was allegedly kidnapped by people in police uniform a month ago was on Friday found floating in Lake Victoria.

Siaya County Directorate of Criminal Investigations officer Joseph Kioni said the badly mutilated body of Bishop Charles Oduor Awich of Roho Judea Church was found by sand harvesters at Sio Port in Busia County.

POST-MORTEM

Mr Kioni said police moved the body to Sio Port Hospital mortuary for post-mortem.

"We have alerted the family and we are waiting for word from them on whether to take the body to Siaya or if the post-mortem can be done at the mortuary in Busia," he said.

Bishop Awich is said to have been kidnapped by armed men in police uniform on January 11, 2020.

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According to Siaya County Police Commander Francis Kooli , the bishop  was picked up from his Ndere home in Alego-Usonga Sub-County by two men on a motorbike.

INTERROGATION

The kidnappers claimed that the bishop was required for police interrogation at the nearby Alego Ndere Police Post.

Last month, Fellowship of Churches Organisation officials led by Rev Francis Odhiambo (chairman), Boniface Onyango (secretary), Ronald Mala (Roho Judea Church) and Abraham Ododa (Jerusalem Assembly Church) called on the police to speed up investigations and bring to book those suspected to have kidnapped their colleague.

"This case should not end up like many other such cases in the past where people disappeared and were thereafter found murdered," he said.

According to the bishop’s wife, Helen Adhiambo, the body was spotted on Friday around 6pm.

The sand harvesters then informed the local beach management unit officials who alerted police. Ms Adhiambo said the body had deep cuts in the head and neck. The left hand was also chopped off.

The bishop's wife said her husband was involved in a land row with some of his relatives.

KIDNAPPED

“We suspect he might have been kidnapped because of the ongoing land case in a Siaya court,” she said.

DCI detectives on January 30 said that they had arrested the bishop's brother. The suspect, according to the county police boss, was arrested after he claimed to know where the clergyman was buried.

“He took the detectives round in circles and it was decided that he be locked up to help with investigations.”

The widow said they were planning to have the post-mortem done immediately.  

"We want his killers pursued and arrested so that they can answer to this heinous crime. We demand justice for the bishop,” she said.