Nakuru family in agony as KWS detective goes missing

NATIONAL |

Francis Oyaro, 45, has been missing for close to a month now. [Courtesy]

A family in Nakuru is in distress after their kin, a Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) warden, went missing under unclear circumstances.

Francis Oyaro, 45, has been missing for close to a month now.

The last time his wife Veronicah Osore spoke to Oyaro was on August 28. He was heading home from his work station at Marsabit National Park.

She said her efforts to trace her husband through his colleagues and the police have failed. They fear something may bad may have happened to him.

"He left in the morning and around 1pm, he called to inform me he was approaching Nanyuki. I expected him home around 6pm. However, he did not show up," said the 35-year-old Osore. The couple has two children.

By 8pm, Osore said, her husband who was attached to KWS's intelligence unit had not arrived home and did not call her. She called him back but the call did not go through.

"His phone had been switched off. I thought may it had run out of charge or the network. I later called some of his relatives and they said they had not seen him or heard from him.

Veronica Osore, 35. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Two days later and Oyaro had not shown up. His phone was still off. Ms Osore said she called her husband's workstation. 

"His immediate boss, who identified himself as Mr Kitavi Kaloki, was surprised. He said he did not understand why he had not arrived home days later. He said my husband had asked to be away for a few days a request he had been granted. Kaloki said my husband was expected to return to work on September 6," said Ms Osore.

She said Kaloki informed her that Oyaro had hiked a lift on a KWS vehicle. Other than the driver, the vehicle is said to have had two of his female colleagues. They were to drop Oyaro in Nanyuki. 

"The other occupants of the vehicle are said to have arrived in Nairobi safely. They claim Oyaro alighted from the vehicle in Nanyuki but we are not sure about that. And while they knew my husband never got home, none of them tried to reach us,” said a distressed Osore. 

Nakuru East sub-county police commander Elena Kabukuru said: "The matter is under investigation and we shall keep updating the family on the progress." 

The family has been to Marsabit and Nairobi in search of him without success.

Earlier this week, the family printed and circulated a poster bearing Oyaro's picture. On the poster, they have also provided telephone numbers anyone with information on his whereabouts can call. 

Francis Oyaro. [Courtesy]

A person who appears to know Oyaro at a personal but sought to conceal his identity is said to have called the family and told them he actually boarded the same matatu with him in Nanyuki on the day he went missing. The caller is said to have spoken to Oyaro's elder sister Winnie Oyaro.

“We boarded the same matatu from Nayuki heading to Nakuru. Near Narumoru, we were flagged down by two people. They had a black saloon car. The people, in civilian clothes and who identified themselves as security officers, went ahead to show the matatu driver their identification cards,” said the caller. 

The caller said the unknown people said they were looking for someone who they said was in the matatu. They opened the door and told Oyaro to alight, said the caller.

“He tried making a call but they snatched his phone. He asked them to explain why they were trailing him yet they had met the previous day. They took his bag and led him into their car. They ordered the driver of the matatu we were using to proceed with the journey,” the caller reportedly told Winnie.

According to the caller, Oyaro seemed to know the two well, a development that has left the family in fear that his suspected abductors may have harmed him. 

“My brother was in the intelligence department and it is a sensitive one. That people who identified themselves as security officers had trailed him before forcing him out of the matatu he was using makes it more suspicious. We feel either the police or KWS know something that we don’t know,” said Winnie. 

Osore has called for speedy investigations into her husband's disappearance. 

She has accused KWS of not doing enough to find him. Osore also accused KWS of failing to involve the family in the search for her husband. 

Francis Oyaro. [Courtesy]

“They have not even circulated information to the public that one of their own is missing. Instead, they have been calling me asking whether I have made any progress in tracing him. If they harmed him, they should let me know. I am hurting,” said Osore.

She added: “Our children, aged three and eight, have been asking me about their father. They would make video calls with him each evening. I do not what to tell them anymore," said Osore. 

Marsabit National Park senior warden John Wambua, who spoke to The Standard on phone, said they have reported the matter to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

"The matter is being investigated by the DCI in Marsabit. For now, no progress has been made. Meanwhile, we are not aware of anything suspicious that could have led to his disappearance," said Wambua.

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