For the last one week, residents of Mutube village in Chuka, Tharaka-Nithi County have been combing bushes and tea plantations along Naka River near Mt Kenya Forest looking for a veterinary officer who went missing on June 25, 2019.
The villagers are suspecting that, Mr Gilbert Ndwiga, 69, could have been killed and his body either dumped or buried in the bushes.
Mr Murithi Boore said Mr Ndwiga was called by an unknown person at around 7.30pm on June 25 from his house in Mutube market and was requested to rush to a nearby homestead and attend to a sick cow.
NOT SEEN AGAIN
But when he arrived, the people in the homestead denied having phoned him.
He said Mr Ndwiga turned back and walked towards the market and that was the last time he was seen or heard from.
Mr James Mutembei said the following morning, Mr Ndwiga was not seen at his house by the neighbours as usual but they thought he could have left early in the morning.
He said in the evening, neighbours noticed a foul smell coming from his room and when they broke in, they only found a piece of meat that had rotten and that was when they suspected something could be wrong and reported the matter to police in Chuka.
The angry residents have accused police of laxity in investigating the matter, arguing that since they reported it, nothing much had been done.
Mr Alfred Kimathi, a villager said no suspect had been arrested in connection to the disappearance.
“We suspect the disappearance has some relationship with a land case that Mr Ndwiga had with a resident at a Chuka court but the person whom he had a case with has never been questioned,” said Mr Kimathi.
They said police traced the phone number that last called him but are yet to question the owner.
“I think police are not serious because they are yet to arrest any suspect despite many leads,” he said.
Mr John Mutegi said the village has lost four people in the last four years in similar circumstances and that they suspect they were killed and their bodies thrown in Mt Kenya Forest.
Speaking to journalists Wednesday, Tharaka-Nithi Police Commander Charles Mbatu said investigations are ongoing and urged family members and villagers to remain patient.
He asked members of the public to continue giving police any information that could help in the investigations.