Murang’a centenarian who escaped from abductors dies

Thomas Mwaaga

Mr Thomas Mwaaga died at 103. He hit news headlines last year after he was kidnapped in Murang'a.

Photo credit: Mwangi Muiruri | Nation Media Group

The 103-year-old man who hit news headlines last year after he was kidnapped in Murang'a South is dead.

Mr Thomas Mwaaga was on August 12, 2021 abducted near a police post by two men who had planned to rob him. He escaped from his captors, coincidentally near another police post, after the vehicle he had been forced to board broke down, leading to the arrest of his abductors.

Harrison Mwangi Kimani, 31, and Nellius Warwino Nyambura, 29, were charged with the crime. Murang’a South Police boss Alexander Shikondi said the man died peacefully in his sleep on Saturday night.

“The deceased is the oldest in Murang’a to be listed as a victim of kidnapping,” Mr Shikondi said. He mourned the man as “unique in our records due the coincidence of abduction near a police post only to be rescued by officers at another police post”.

According to court records, the two suspects, while driving a white Toyota Axio registration KCH 107A, kidnapped the centenarian near Ichagaki police patrol base at around 8.30am. The old man had gone to report his grandson for refusing to go to school when a car pulled beside him.

In his statement, the old man said the suspects first told him that they had a deal that would fetch him Sh200,000. But he became suspicious and attempted to escape before they forced him into the car.

“The suspects said they had unfinished business with me and if I cooperated, I had a chance of getting out of the ordeal unharmed. As they sped off towards Maragua town, they changed their narrative and demanded Sh50,000 to set me free,” the statement read.

Apparently, the suspects were aware that Mr Mwaaga had an account with Amica Sacco and attempted to force him to withdraw the money at its Maragua town branch. However, when he started acknowledging greetings from area residents, the suspects panicked and took him back into the car and sped off.

“Near Kigoro police patrol base along the Mbombo-Gwathamaki road, the vehicle developed a mechanical problem and stalled. I seized the moment to shout for help as I fled into the police post. The commotion caught the attention of the officers, who came to my rescue,” he added in his statement.

In the ongoing case, it emerged the suspects were residents of Kasarani estate in Nairobi and had robbed the man of Sh350.