Phoebe Muthoni

Charles Ngare and Phoebe Muthoni Mwangi narrate the last moments with their relatives who were abducted on different dates at Solio settlement scheme.

| Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

Fourth family enjoined in Nyeri missing men’s case

A fourth family has been enjoined in a suit seeking to compel the state to produce men who were abducted in Nyeri and Nyandarua counties in June.

This came as the High Court in Nyeri granted the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Inspector General of Police 21 days to reply to the petition.

During a virtual court session on Wednesday, Justice Florence Muchemi allowed the DCI and the IG, who are listed as the second and third respondents, to respond to the habeas corpus application seeking to produce the missing men before court.

The two have, however, never appeared in court over the matter.

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), which is listed as the first respondent, has since denied holding the missing men.

In a replying affidavit, the KWS said its officers did not conduct any operation in the two counties at the time Mr Isaac Mwangi, Mr Wilson Mwangi, Mr Samuel Ngacha and Mr Bernard Wanjohi were reported missing.

The family of Mr Elijah Karimi, who disappeared on June 28, has now been enjoined in the suit.

An application by Mr Karimi’s wife, Ms Joan Wangui, shows he was abducted in a similar manner as the other men at the Narumoru bus stage by unknown people.

Her July 22 affidavit says she had spoken with her husband on the phone at 10,00am on the day he disappeared.

But that evening when she couldn’t reach him, she decided to travel from Kirinyaga – where she resided – to Naromoru.

Ms Wangui said her husband bought fresh vegetables from farmers in Nyeri, which he sold to traders in the county and from other parts of the country.

Ms Wangui’s affidavit further says her husband had been in the business for only one month before he went missing.

While in Narumoru, she met her husband’s friend who informed her that Mr Karimi had been arrested at the bus stage.

“While at the bus stage, he was handcuffed and taken away on a motor vehicle that had no number plates,” the court documents say, adding that the manner the act was conducted pointed to a state operation.

Ms Wangui added that her discussions with lorry operators that day revealed that another colleague of Mr Karimi, a Mr Mwiti, had also been kidnapped in a similar manner on June 25.

It is Mr Mwiti who had introduced Ms Wangui’s husband to the vegetables business.

The family of Mr Isaac Mwangi says he was abducted on June 27 at Kianjogu in Ndaragwa, in the presence of his wife Phoebe Muthoni and daughter as they were travelling to Nyahururu.

The families of Mr Ngacha and Mr Wanjohi, who are brothers and also Mwangi’s cousins, say they were abducted in Kanyagia along the Nyeri–Nyahururu highway on June 30.

The two had reportedly accompanied Ms Muthoni and three other friends who were returning from Ndaragwa to follow up on Mr Mwangi's abduction.

 Another man, Mr Gerald Guandaru, was kidnapped on June 29 outside his barbershop along Kanisa road in Nyeri town. His family is, however, not part of the suit.

The family of Mr Wilson Mwangi says in court papers that he was approached and handcuffed outside Zion Bar in Naromoru on June 27 by two unknown men.