Elgiva Bwire Oliacha, a convicted terrorist

Elgiva Bwire Oliacha, a convicted terrorist who was freed after a 10-year jail term. Prof Nandwa who represented Bwire during his trial in 2011, vanished hours after reporting Bwire’s disappearance at Central Police station. 

| File | Phoebe Okall | Nation Media Group

Gumo kin abductions: Mystery linked to seized terror convict 

What you need to know:

  • Prof Nandwa had represented Egilva Bwire Oliacha during his trial on terrorism related charges in 2011. 
  • He vanished hours after reporting Bwire’s disappearance at Central Police station.

The puzzle of three mystery abductions on the day a convicted terrorist was freed after a 10-year jail term, and seized by gunmen, has troubled families of the victims.  

The convict’s mother, his lawyer and a driver to a former assistant minister were abducted on Friday, hours after gunmen had seized the man following his release from Kamiti Maximum prison.  

Ms Jacinta Bwire, a sister-in-law to former MP Fred Gumo, and her driver Willis Otieno, were released on Saturday night and Sunday morning, respectively.

However, Prof Hassan Nadwa, who also disappeared on Friday, was still missing on Sunday afternoon.

Prof Nandwa had represented Elgiva Bwire Oliacha during his trial on terrorism related charges in 2011. 

He vanished hours after reporting Bwire’s disappearance at Central Police station.

Elgiva Bwire Oliacha, a convicted terrorist

Elgiva Bwire Oliacha before a chief magistrate court in Nairobi in 2011 when he was charged with being in possession of assorted arms and explosives. 

Photo credit: File | Phoebe Okall | Nation Media Group

Bwire, who was convicted for two grenade attacks in the city in 2011, is also still missing following his disappearance upon release from prison. 

One person was killed and more than 20 wounded in one of the attacks. 

It was unclear how Jacinta, a sister to one of Gumo’s wives and an employee of Nairobi County government, and her driver had secured freedom or who her abductors were. 

She had left the former MP’s home along Karura Avenue on Friday to visit Kamiti to pick her son who had been released a day before. 

Shortly after Bwire was dropped in town by his mother, where he was allegedly picked up by gunmen. 

When his mother learnt that he had been abducted, she went to inform Mr Gumo but was also kidnapped along the way.

Motive of the kidnap

The former minister had asked his long-time driver Willis Otieno to drive Jacinta to town in his black Toyota Land Cruiser. 

However, at about 5.45pm on their way back, a white double cabin pickup that had trailed them for a while blocked the road just a few metres from Gumo’s gate.

Three men jumped out of the pick-up and ordered Jacinta and Mr Otieno to get out, forced them into their pick up and sped off.

Yesterday, the family said they are fine, without giving more details on where the two had been held captive since Friday.

“We have not seen the two nor have we heard anything from them. Their cellphones remain switched off,” Mr Gumo had told the Nation on Saturday evening.

Fred Gumo

Mr Fred Gumo.

Photo credit: File | Evans Habil | Nation Media Group

Police investigating the matter had returned to the scene on Saturday afternoon but did not offer information that could help the family about Friday’s broad daylight operation.

“Police have been here (at the scene of the crime) and have told me they are doing everything possible to unravel the mystery of what happened. But they have no clue on the whereabouts of the two,” he added.

Mr Gumo had said the abduction of the two had emotionally drained the family especially because they could not establish the motive of the kidnap as the abductors had not demanded for any ransom.

Confessed on Facebook

Bwire, also known by the alias Mohamed Seif, served a 10-year sentence in prison following his conviction for causing grievous harm, engaging in organised criminal activity, being in possession of a firearm without a firearm certificate, and being in possession of ammunition without a firearm certificate.

In 2005, Bwire had left Kenya for Somalia, through Liboi, to join the Al-Shabaab terror group. In August 2011, he returned to Kenya and settled down in Kayole from where authorities say he recruited other members to his side.

Later that same year, he confessed to being a member of Al-Shabaab terror group, conducting two grenade attacks in the city and carrying one grenade to Nyayo stadium while posing as a hawker during the October 20 Kenyatta Day celebrations presided over by then President Kibaki.

The two attacks happened at a bar and at Kaka Bus stage along Race Course road.

The ex-convict had prior to his arrest also confessed on Facebook over his plans to attack 13 locations in Nairobi using grenades and bullets that had been sent to him.

Supreme Council of Muslims chairman Hassan Ole Nado said Jacinta and her husband had gone to his office in April this year to plead for help in securing her son after his release from prison this month.

“They said they were concerned their son may go missing as soon as he is released because of the nature of charges he faced. There was little we could do then,” he said.

The family of the missing lawyer said he was not a terrorism sympathiser and that all he did was represent Bwire as an advocate. 


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