14 May 2019

Kenya: Police Hold Woman Thought to Be Al-Shabaab Fugitive Violet Kemunto

Photo: Daily Nation
Violet Kemunto. She is reported to be the wife of Ali Gichunge, one of the suspects behind the DusitD2 complex attack in Nairobi on January 15, 2019.

Police in Kisii have for the last two weeks interrogated two women suspected to be Violet Kemunto Omwoyo, an Al-Shabaab fugitive.

In the first incident that took place in Nyangusu, members of the public became suspicious of a man and woman at a bus terminal who were about to board a public service vehicle that was headed to Kisii town, 45km away, and alerted the police.

Those who spoke to the Nation said that they became wary as the two were dressed in Muslim attire, which is not common in the area.

In addition, Ms Omwoyo's relatives live in Kisii.

"Violet Kemunto comes from around here and when we saw her in the news we were shocked and for that reason we are now highly alert and that's why we informed the police about them," said Abel Morang'a, a local.

CAUTIOUS

Police records indicated that the woman arrested at Nyangusu had travel documents identifying her as Risper Nyamoita Ogwori, who had jetted into the country from Saudi Arabia on March 19, 2019 through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

The other suspect identified himself as Richard Michael Tibuka, 38, a Tanzanian but did not provide any documents to the police to prove so.

Kisii County Police Commander Martin Kibet said that the two were arrested and handed over to the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU).

"We made the arrests and later the two were handed over to ATPU for further interrogation. What I have noticed is that people here are highly cautious but I ask members of the public not to worry as everything is in control," he said.

On Saturday, Mr Kibet said the members of the public became highly suspicious after a woman changed into three different hijabs.

They alerted the police who took her into custody.

Mr Kibet said that after interrogation it emerged that the woman had travelled from Mombasa to visit her son in school. She was later released after interrogations.

TERROR ATTACK

Kemunto came to the limelight following the terror attack at the 14 Riverside complex in Nairobi in which 21 people were killed.

To date, police believe that Kemunto, also known as Khadija, crossed the border into Somalia after the dusitD2 attack which saw her militant husband Ali Salim Gichunge killed.

Prior to the attack and her subsequent escape, Kemunto had lived in house number E7 in Guango Estate, Kiambu County, with her husband who is believed to have been the mastermind of the attack.

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