Abductions soar in Kenyan capital

July 6, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 6 – A Primary school teacher and her boyfriend were abducted in Nairobi on Friday night, becoming the latest victims of the increasing kidnappings for ransom in the city.

A Nigerian man whom the couple had picked from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) was abducted along with the two on Jogoo Road.

Twenty four year-old Maureen Achieng’s father Joseph Odera Otieno who works with the Kenya National Library Services in Moyale said the kidnappers had demanded a Sh350,000 payoff but later scaled it down to Sh150,000 by Sunday afternoon.

“I have been negotiating with them (kidnappers) on telephone. They have been shifting goal posts. They even asked me to send them a deposit of Sh50,000 on Sunday,” Mr Otieno said.

He could not immediately give the identities of the two men because “I don’t know them but I understand one of them is a boyfriend to my daughter.”

According to Mr Otieno, his daughter who is a teacher at Sunshine Academy in Garissa was in Nairobi enroute to Kisii when she was abducted.

She arrived in Nairobi on Friday night and was supposed to catch a bus to Kisii but instead telephoned her father saying she wanted to sleep at a friend’s house before she proceeded to Kisii the following day.

“I did not object that because she is a grown up. Later, I received a telephone call from her saying she had been abducted alongside two other people,” Mr Otieno said.

He traveled to Nairobi and lodged an official complaint with the police who commenced investigations.

By Monday, the whereabouts of the three remained unknown and the police were yet to make any headway.

Central divisional CID chief Festus Malinge told Capital News that they were following crucial leads in the latest case.

“We are aware of the matter and our officers are making efforts to save the three,” he said and declined to discuss the matter any further saying it could jeopardise the probe.

Cases of kidnapping are on the increase, particularly in the Kenyan capital where at least four cases are reported weekly.

Last week, a 15 year old boy was re-united with his family after police rescued him from his captors in Nairobi’s Dandora estate.

Eugene Nelson Ochieng’ had been kidnapped on his way to school in Saika estate by three gunmen who even shot and wounded a man who tried to block their mission.

Police raided a three-storey residential flat where they found the boy and arrested six men and two women last Thursday night.

When he was freed, he said: “I am very happy, I glorify God’s name for helping me through this ordeal,” the seemingly innocent boy said and added: “I hope those people who are out there who have been kidnapped will be rescued by police like they did in my case.”

The boy told police he had survived by feeding on loaves of bread and soda throughout his three-day captivity.

On the day he was kidnapped, the gun men demanded Sh1 million.


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