GSU officer missing in Boni Forest found alive after 17 days

Police Constable Norman Mwongera Kiunga

Police Constable Norman Mwongera Kiunga, who had been missing for17 days in the Boni enclave within the dense Boni Forest, after he resurfaced on June 3, 2021.

Photo credit: Kalume Kazungu | Nation Media Group

Security officers undertaking the multi-agency Operation Linda Boni in Lamu, are a happy lot after one of their own, who went missing more than two weeks ago, resurfaced on Thursday morning.

A police report seen by Nation.Africa on Thursday indicated that Police Constable Norman Mwongera Kiunga had been missing for the last 17 days in the Boni enclave within the dense Boni Forest but was able to find his way to the Basuba GSU camp. 

Though in stable condition, the officer had two gunshot wounds, with a bullet still lodged in his thigh. He also had another bullet wound on his forearm.

“At around 9.40am on Thursday, Constable Norman Mwongera Kiunga who was missing in action for the last 17 days in Boni enclave found his way to Basuba GSU camp. Though in stable condition, he has been evacuated for further medication,” read the police report.

Not aware

But Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia and Lamu County Police Commander Moses Murithi said they were not aware of such reports since the area in question is under the Boni Enclave campaign, currently known as Operation Linda Amani Boni.

“Sincerely speaking, I am not aware of such a report. In fact, it is the first time I am hearing from you. Officers in charge of the multi-agency operation in Boni Forest are in a good position to respond to this,” said Mr Macharia.

This is not the first time in Lamu that a police officer has disappeared and later resurfaced.

In July 2017, an officer who had been reported missing following a raid by Al-Shabaab on Pandanguo police post in Lamu was found alive and well after two days.

Escaped on foot

The officer is said to have hidden in a nearby bush during the attack and managed to escape on foot during the night to the Witu Police Station, several kilometres away.

He later managed to safely trace his way back to the Pandanguo police post the following morning.

Basuba and Pandanguo areas are within the multi-agency Boni security operation enclave.

The incident comes just two weeks after seven Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers taking part in the operation Linda Boni in Lamu were killed when their vehicle ran over an explosive device believed to have been planted on the road by Al-Shabaab militants in Baure, which is several kilometres from Basuba.

The incident happened on May 18 along the Bodhei-Kiunga road.