1 December 2012

Kenya: Commissioner Defends Cops Over Murang'a Abductions

Murang'a County Commissioner Kula Hache yesterday defended the police over allegations of laxity in curbing kidnapping.

Hache said the police are "working tirelessly" to ensure the gang behind the increased abduction incidents is stopped as soon as possible.

Residents and politicians have accused Murang'a police of sleeping on the job on the wake of the increased kidnappings. Speaking at a baraza at Mukuyu shopping centre where three people have been abducted in less than a month, the commissioner said police have identified the possible hideout of the gang.

"We are committed to cracking down on the notorious gang and very soon we will dismantle the group," she said. Hache accused members of the public of not helping the police identify gang members.

"I also blame you because no one is willing to give police information that could lead to the arrest of the gang," said the commissioner. Hache warned residents against raising ransom money for the kidnap victims, saying this promotes the crime.

Maragua MP Elias Mbau said he wondered how more than five heavily armed gangsters could continue abducting people without the police apprehending them.

"Let them [police] come out and tell us whether they are the ones kidnapping people in Murang'a," he said. Mbau's comments come barely a week after a man was abducted in Maragua.

Geoffrey Muru, a timber dealer, was allegedly abducted on Saturday by an armed gang in police uniform. His whereabouts remain unknown and the kidnappers are demanding Sh10 million ransom.

Two people were shot and injured by the gangsters as they fled the scene. The kidnapping comes soon after four others in Murang'a in the span of a month.

Mbau said the "worrying trend" will scare off investors. Hache said police have traced the mobile phone numbers being used by the abductors to Kamiti prison.

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