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Thika residents irked by rise in abduction cases

Grief and disbelief have engulfed  Thika Town sub-county as families of two missing children try to unravel the mystery behind disappearance  of their children.

In what is turning out to be  high-tech clandestine cases of children fading away from their parents’ presence anyhow, the affected families have been left to contend with fond memories of their loved ones. The abductors reportedly target children aged below 15 years.

In Kamenu village, Sarah Kimani, a mother of two, remembers  vividly her last moments with 12-year-old daughter Mercy Wagio, who was a pupil at Reverend Maanzo AIC Academy.

A distraught Sarah says her second and last born daughter was last seen at Makongeni Phase 10, wearing blue trousers, black blouse and pink long-sleeved coat.

Since her mysterious disappearance, she said the family, neighbours and friends have been having sleepless nights, conducting door-to-door searches hoping to trace her.

Alvin Ngare who was kidnapped in the company of his friend outside a church in Starehe area, Thika town sub-county. Photo/COURTESY

Being mature enough to make right decisions, Naomi Nyambura, their immediate neighbour says she cannot figure out how such a girl can disappear without trace.

“From the day she went missing, I have been  having sleepless nights wondering where the girl I used to send to the shops and interact with is.

We have been everywhere; hospitals, mortuaries and even in our distant relatives homes,” she said.

A woman who only identified herself as Apostle Emma decried the alarming abduction of children in the area, saying six children in the sub-county have disappeared in the past week.

“In our search for Wagio since Sunday, we have discovered that five more children in Kiganjo area have also gone missing at the same time. Our worry is what will happen next and whose child is next,” she said.

Less than three kilometres from Makongeni estate, People Daily finds another troubled family in Starehe area still trying to trace their only son.

Four-year-old Alvin Ngari Kwera,  who was kidnapped in company of another boy at a church on Sunday after leaving Sunday school, is reportedly confined in a house in Kiganjo area.

Another boy, who was kidnapped together with Ngari, was freed the same day had led the family to the sprawling village in a futile search mission.

Ngari’s mother Grace Wanjiru, revealed that the abductors have been demanding in excess of Sh500,000 to set their son free.

“Liam Makumi, the six-year-old, boy who was with my son my son when he was abducted came back to our home carrying a note indicating that we had been given only four hours to pay Sh520,000 for the freedom of our son. The abductors even gave  a phone number where we were to send the money,” said the distraught mother.

On Wednesday, the abductors called the family seeking to know why they didn’t heed their orders only to disconnect the phone after the family requested that they meet to give the ransom.

“My husband told them that the ransom could not be sent on phone and they should organise  to collect the money.

After the conversation, the abductors’ line went off leaving us more agitated,” added Wanjiru.

Thika police boss Paul Kiriki said police are following crucial leads to arrest the kidnappers who are reported to have been disconnecting phones after threatening parents of the affected.

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