One of the Indian nationals who disappeared mysteriously in what has turned out to be an ongoing investigation that has attracted the attention of President William Ruto was known to be a globetrotter, the Nation can now reveal.
Mr Zulfiqar Ahmad Khan was in the Maasai Mara in Narok County on July 21 and was all smiles as he shared images of a lion, inviting friends to join him for breakfast.
His trip to Kenya in July came five months after he toured Beijing, China, where he attended the Olympics.
In September 2021, he was in Madrid, Spain, and shared images and videos before promising that he would visit the city again. He had arrived in Spain on September 11 that year.
In his LinkedIn profile, Mr Khan says he is a results-driven person and has 19 years of experience across broadcast and digital media companies.
“Five years CXO experience and over 10 years of leading and driving transformational revenue growth in both start-ups (0-100 people) and large and complex organisations (500-2000 people),” he describes himself on the website.
“Rich experience across Strategy, Sales, BD, Revenue and Content Creation across leading organisations like Star India, Eros Now and HOOQ.”
Mr Rajiv Dubey, a close ally of Mr Khan, has sent a petition on behalf of the his friends, colleagues and well-wishers to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
They want the Kenyan government to ensure that Mr Khan returns to his country safe and sound.
Mr Khan and his friend Zaid Sami Kidwai went missing alongside taxi driver Nicodemus Mwania from Mombasa Road.
The two Indians were reported to have arrived in Kenya in April to join Dr Ruto’s ICT campaign team, but they went missing on July 25 after they were abducted outside Ole Sereni Hotel.
This week, President Ruto ordered a crack police squad known as the Special Service Unit (SSU) disbanded.
He explained that he made the decision after receiving an investigation report last week on the disappearance of the two Indian nationals and their Kenyan taxi driver.
The report recommended the disbanding of the unit to pave the way for the conclusion of investigations before the file is forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
President Ruto on Sunday said more changes were in the offing as his administration seeks to overhaul the management of security.
“I am the one who ordered that the Special Service Unit, which was conducting extrajudicial killings, be disbanded,” President Ruto said in Kericho.
“We have a plan on how to secure this country so that we [can] avoid the shame of Kenyans killed [by the police and their bodies dumped] in Yala River and others. We are going to change this country for the better.”
On Sunday, a senior detective at the DCI headquarters in Nairobi told the Nation that officers in the unit were disarmed and suspended.
“The officers have also been put under 24-hour surveillance. It remains unclear what the plans are but we shall know with time,” said the senior sleuth, who spoke in confidence as they were not authorised to speak to the media.
Mr Arindam Bagchi, a spokesperson for the Indian ministry of external affairs, said they were “keeping a close watch”.
In a statement issued last week by Mr Khan’s friends, they said he was visiting Kenya as a tourist when he suddenly went silent.
He was scheduled to return to India on July 24 but has not been seen or heard from.
“As far as we understand, there were two Indian nationals, Zulfiqar Ahmad Khan and Zaid Sami Kidwai. They’ve been missing in Kenya since July 23,” Mr Bagchi told reporters at the weekend.
“A police complaint was filed there soon after that. Subsequently, a habeas corpus petition was filed in the Kenyan court. We understand that the issue is in the High Court of Kenya, and a number of hearings have taken place. This week, there was a hearing.”