Residents of Koreni village in Mpeketoni, Lamu county, are worried after a former chief and Nyumba Kumi initiative elder, was abducted and taken hostage by unknown people five days ago.
Hussien Ali Mohamud, 67,who served as a chief in Garissa between 1991 to 2013, was ambushed at his home on Tuesday afternoon by three men who identified themselves as officers from the Anti Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU), his son Mohamed Ali, told Baraka FM on Monday.
Mohamed said his father had just arrived from the mosque in the afternoon, when the three men arrived and questioned him for several minutes before they blindfolded and bundled him onto a waiting van.
“When they (ATPU officers) came, they just asked for mzee Hussein. When he identified himself, they asked him for his identification card, then blindfolded him and pushed him onto a van…..and sped off to we don’t know where,” said Mohamed.
“We have called his phone but can’t reach him because it’s switched off.”
The family said they had visited all police stations in Mpeketoni, Lamu, Mokowe and Witu but had not been able to locate him.
The agonized family is now calling on the government to help trace their kin and establish who exactly took him.
“If it’s the government, we can’t understand how they can do this to someone who worked for them before,” said Ali.
He said they were more interested in establishing whether he had been kidnapped by terrorists or government agents, afraid that either way, the old man’s life would be in danger.
While the Somalia militant group al shabaab has been known to kidnap people who it either killed or demanded ransom for, the Kenya police has also been accused of similar abductions and strange disappearances, especially of suspects linked to terrorism, some of who are later found executed.
Last month another man, Imrana Said Makka, 29, was also picked up in Malindi town by three men who similarly identified themselves as ATPU officers.
His family says they have heard nothing on his whereabouts since then, despite much effort.
Police deny involvement in the abductions and say they are helping trace the victims in both cases.