Hillary Mutyambai ‘ignores’ suit seeking to have abducted men produced
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and police Inspector-General Hillary Mutyambai have failed to respond to an application seeking to have five missing men produced in the High Court in Nyeri.
Mr Isaac Mwangi, Mr Bernard Wanjohi, Mr Samuel Ngacha, Mr Wilson Wairimu and Mr Elijah Karimi have been missing since June last year.
Their families say they were kidnapped in broad daylight in separate incidents in a manner that suggested State involvement and want the DCI and Mr Mutyambai to produce them in court.
When the matter came up for mention before Justice Florence Muchemi on Wednesday, the judge heard that the DCI and Mr Mutyambai were yet to file their responses to the application, which has been before the court for seven months.
The families told the court they had not heard from the two respondents since September 30, when the Attorney-General made a representation for the parties in a court session.
At that time, the lawyer for the two asked for 21 to file a response. This was the second time the petitioners faulted the two respondents for failing to reply to the suit.
When the case was last before the court on November 8, Justice Muchemi heard that the two were not only absent but had failed to reply to the matter even after the 21 days they requested lapsed.
But in her orders on Wednesday, the judge said she doubted the respondents were aware of the suit’s mention dates.
She noted that the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), which is listed as the first respondent, was absent.
“We cannot blame the respondents for failing to appear before the court since from the file record I can tell that today’s mention was sought solely by the petitioners’ lawyer. There is a possibility that the other parties in the suit are not aware,” the judge said.
KWS has denied involvement in the abductions. A replying affidavit from KWS corporation secretary Doreen Mutunga shows that the agency’s officers did not conduct operations in Nyeri and Nyandarua counties between June 27 and June 30, where and when the men are said to have been abducted.
Mr Mwangi was abducted on June 27 in Kianjogu, Ndaragwa, in the presence of his wife Phoebe Muthoni and daughter as they were travelling to Nyahururu.
Mr Ngacha and Mr Wanjohi, two brothers who are also Mr Mwangi’s cousins, were abducted in Kanyagia on the Nyeri-Nyahururu highway on June 30.
The two had accompanied Ms Muthoni and three other friends who were returning from Ndaragwa to follow up on the abduction of Mr Mwangi.
Mr Karimi is believed to have been arrested in Naromoru on June 28 at the town’s bus stage while Mr Wairimu was handcuffed outside Zion bar in the same town on June 27.
The case continues on March 16.