A family in Lamu wants to know the fate of their kin who was allegedly forcibly taken by suspected security officers as he drove on the Lamu-Witu-Garsen road on Saturday.
Yasir Mahmoud Ahmed, 43, is an ambulance driver with the Lamu County government.
He is also a renowned contractor and an active businessman in Kiunga town near the border with Somalia.
Mr Ahmed had travelled to Mpeketoni to visit his mother-in-law earlier on Saturday and was on his way back to Lamu with his wife and son and a third individual in their vehicle when they were intercepted by a security vehicle at Mkunumbi.
Ahmed’s wife Yumna Ali said the people who took her husband were dressed in official security attire and had guns.
They also had a GK security Land Cruiser parked on the side of the road.
Immediately after stopping their vehicle, they ordered the woman, the boy and the other passenger to alight and walk ahead without looking behind, with a warning that they would be shot if they disobeyed.
After walking for some time, they decided to turn back, finding that the security people had vanished with Mr Ahmed.
“We decided to walk back stealthily to the car and we found my husband was nowhere to be seen together with the abductors. They had vanished. You would even have believed that they were never there. It was scary,” she said.
She added, “It was around 4.30pm. We had to move our car and park it by the roadside before we boarded a passenger service vehicle and completed our journey to Lamu. Since then, I have not heard from my husband. His phone is off. We need help to trace him.”
Speaking to journalists at their home in Mtamuini in Lamu town on Monday, Mr Ahmed’s father, Mahmoud Ahmed Abdulkadir, a religious leader known locally as ‘Ustadh Mau,’ appealed to the State to help his family trace the whereabouts of their son, whom he described as a peace-loving person.
Mr Abdulkadir said they have been looking for him at all police stations in Lamu, Mokowe, Mpeketoni, Witu and elsewhere but have not been able to locate his second-born son.
The matter was reported to the Lamu Central and Mpeketoni police stations under OB numbers 34/19/06/2021 and 16/20/06/2021, respectively.
“I have seven children. Yasir is the second-born. The family, his wives, children, siblings and myself depend on him greatly. He recently bought a house for his siblings. His abduction has caused immense pain and emotional torture to this family. The only remedy will be when Yasir is brought back alive. The government should help us,” he said.
He said this was not the first time his son had been abducted by unknown people.
About four years ago, Yasir, while in Kiunga, was arrested by unknown people who were later found to be security agents.
He was taken to Nairobi and released after one week, Mr Abdulkadir said.
Is’haq Khatib, vice-chair of Save Lamu, condemned the disappearance of Yasir and called on the government to ensure he is released back to the family as soon as possible.
Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia confirmed the incident but dismissed claims of the involvement of security agencies.
“I have information from family members. Involvement of security is far-fetched and unsubstantiated. DCI is investigating. We are calling on anyone with information to share with security agencies. We pray that he be safe,” Mr Macharia said.