On September 8, at 10am, I was kidnapped in Nairobi city centre. I regained my freedom after a 12-day ordeal. My left leg was badly injured during the abduction, and I’ve been in and out of hospital for the past week, refraining from all activities on my doctor’s advice.
However, an article titled “Need to probe ‘kidnap’ of polemic Somali scholar”, by Hashim Ngoma (Daily Nation, September 17), is something I can’t dismiss. After much deliberation, I’ve decided to reply to the writer, against the advice of my family.
In the article, Ngoma had the audacity to hint that I be deported to Somalia. One can easily verify that I am a Kenyan and that the article was a fabrication of Ngoma’s wild imagination, a collection of falsehoods and conjectures and creation of a twisted mind filled with hate against me.
Trash my reputation
As required by Article 49(1) (f) of the Constitution, the security agents should have presented me in court, but this did not happen. My abductee refused me access to my attorneys, purposefully kept my family and loved ones in the dark and have most likely used the character Ngoma to trash my reputation and damage me while I was kidnapped and, most importantly, excuse the abductors’ criminal actions.
His 477-word invective contained more than 10 falsehoods.
Ngoma claims I’m a Somali “refugee” who fraudulently obtained Kenyan citizenship from a “Kenyan couple”. If the couple he refers to are my parents, they have not denounced me. Afar as I’m aware, my father still lives in Garissa and I buried my mother three years ago in Nairobi after she’d stayed with me in my residence for 15 years.
Ngoma also claims that I had accused “Kenya of ‘territory grab’ in Somalia” in my writings. There are no documents — oral or written — to substantiate this fabrication. My sole writing on this subject is an essay, “Kenya and Somalia must look beyond the ICJ verdict” (DN, June 4, 2019).
Ngoma lied when he said I sought asylum in Europe. I’ve never entertained the thought of relocating to other countries.
He also asserted that I plagiarised a think tank’s name. My think tank is the Institute for Horn of Africa Strategic Studies. Anybody familiar with the rigorous registration procedure for such organisations understands all too well that a registered name — such as the user name associated with your email address — cannot be re-registered.
By analysing Ngoma’s writings, it’s possible to deduce that he is a spokesperson for some shadowy entities. Only five articles can be found under his name — three by the Daily Nation, one by the Standard, and one by the People Daily, all without his photos.
Despite his dubious claim of being a “scholar in international relations”, he has no profile on the internet. The Twitter account under his name is non-existent.
Abdiwahab Sheikh Abdisamad, via email