Three families in Athimba, Meru County, have petitioned DCI boss George Kinoti to probe the alleged kidnapping of their three relatives, among them a person of interest in the attempted murder of lawyer Kirimi Mbogo.
They say Mr Joseph Giteme, Mr Charles Kalung’e and Mr Bernard Miriti were abducted Thursday by people who claimed they were police officers, at by-pass area near Mulathankari along Meru-Mikinduri road.
The incident is said to have taken place shortly after Mr Giteme reported being trailed by people in a white car, who said they were police officers.
Mr Giteme has been embroiled in a case with the lawyer, which led to the latter’s placement in a witness protection programme alongside three witnesses, after they cited threats to their lives.
Mr Giteme is charged with giving false information to a person employed in the public service, contrary to section 129 (a) of the Penal Code.
Witnesses developed cold feet after Mr Mbogo was shot and injured the same week the matter was revived. The Director of Public Prosecution had wanted it terminated in 2016.
The witnesses agreed to testify after Justice Alfred Mabeya urged the trial magistrate to hear the matter in camera and use pseudonyms.
Mr Giteme is accused of supplying false information to the police, claiming that Mr Mbogo was in Maua when houses were burnt in the volatile Kianda, while the lawyer insists he was in Nyeri during the incident.
The lawyer, who has since been granted police protection round the clock, had told the Maua court that he suspected Mr Giteme had a hand in his shooting but the court said no evidence was submitted.
Speaking to the press on Sunday, the family said it has not received sufficient information from police regarding the matter.
Kanuni MCA Josephat Mugambi claimed the suspected abductors trailed Mr Giteme up to the gate of his Athimba home and that when he confronted them, they told him they were from the disbanded Flying Squad unit.
The MCA said the Toyota Probox they were travelling in was found abandoned by a road but that victims’ mobile phones had been switched off.
“The families are living in fear since they don’t know the intention of the abductors. They reported the trailing at the Kanuni AP’s camp. If it is the police who are holding them, we need to know so that we can be informed of their condition. We are fearful since we have been reading about similar incidents in the media. We need to know where they are, whether dead or alive,” Mr Mugambi said.
He wants police to pursue all leads and provide the affected families with security.
Mr Giteme’s distraught wife, Purity Makena, said he looked worried before the incident and had reported threats to his life.
“We have not slept since the incident occurred. We are fearful as we don’t know the motive for the abduction and whether they are dead or alive. I appeal to DCI boss Kinoti to pursue the matter,” she said.
Mr Geoffrey Musyoka, who is Mr Kalung’e’s brother, called for a hastened investigation, saying every moment matters.
Reached for comment, however, Igembe South police boss Henry Akong’o said he was unaware of the allegation that Mr Giteme had been trailed.
“The families have reported the matter here but it falls under Imenti North since that is where it allegedly happened. The other issue of trailing was not reported at Kanuni,” he said.
His Imenti North counterpart Robinson Mboloi said no report of an abduction had been made and that they were pursuing a case of missing persons.
“I am not aware of any arrest. What was reported was a case of missing persons after the vehicle was found under the bridge. If anyone has information about abduction, they should submit it,” he said.