|Four men arrested by people claiming to be police last month are missing, raising fears they may have been executed.
According to their families, the men were taken away from their homes after people claiming to be police officers raided villages in Makuyu on January 22.
The men, most of them matatu operators, were identified as Paul Njuguna, Julius Thiong’o, Martin Kamau and John Ndung’u.
Their relatives told the Nation that people who identified themselves as “police officers on patrol” took them away in a police car, but a search for them at police stations, mortuaries and prisons has not been successful.
Release Political Prisoners (RPP), a human rights group based in Nairobi, has called on police commissioner Hussein Ali to account for the missing persons.
“We keep wondering where the people may have been taken and, if they were killed, why they were killed, what offence they committed, who was the complainant in their case and where their bodies are,” said RPP executive coordinator Stephen Musau.
RPP has now added the case to a list of similar ones reported since July last year in which police are accused of arresting and executing Mungiki suspects.
“The list of persons who have been arrested and disappeared mysteriously has been increasing since last year,” Mr Musau said.
The group also demanded that a group of “rogue police officers” who took part in the raid be arrested and prosecuted.
Ms Mary Muthoni, whose son Ndung’u is missing, said police raided her home at Nguruini village at 1am and took him away in a vehicle with private registration numbers.
She later saw the vehicle at the Makuyu police station.
“They told me the vehicle belonged to the station but the officers said they did not have him in custody,” said Ms Muthoni. The arrest, she added, was not booked in the Occurrence Book at the police station.
An hour earlier, the same vehicle had been used to drive away Mr Njuguna from the nearby Gathiru village.
According to his wife, Peris Njeri, men claiming to be police officers knocked at the door. They took away her husband when he opened the door for them.
Minutes after midnight, Ms Margaret Wairimu said the police vehicle arrived at her home. Her husband, Mr Ndung’u, opened the door after people claiming to be police knocked.
“They grabbed him by the collar and escorted him to a waiting car. They sped away but I noted its registration number,” she said.
According to Ms Wairimu, her husband eked out a living by selling shoes at a stall near the city’s country bus station.
She has unsuccessfully searched for him at Kamiti prison, as well as at police stations at Makuyu, Murang’a and Kabati.