SECTIONS

Driver to serve life sentence for abetting Cuban doctors' kidnap

 

Issack Robow, a former Mandera County government driver who carried two Cuban doctors that were abducted in 2019 and taken to Somalia. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

A former Mandera County Government driver who was ferrying two Cuban doctors that were abducted in 2019 and taken to Somalia has been jailed for life.

Mr Issack Robow appeared before Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Martha Nanzushi yesterday.

He was found guilty of participating in a conspiracy to kidnap doctors Assel Herrera and Landy Hernandez.

Ms Nanzushi said: "The acts of terrorism have hurt society and are a threat to global peace."

Mr Robow will serve a life sentence for commissioning the terrorist act that led to the death of police officer Mutundo Katambo. He was attached to the Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit in Mandera East Sub-County.

The late Katambo had been deployed on escort duties of the two Cuban doctors who had been seconded to the Mandera county referral hospital.

He will serve 40 years in jail and an additional 25 for kidnapping and taking the Cuban doctors hostage. Mr Robow was sentenced to 15 years for aiding and abetting a terrorist act, Ms Nanzushi said. 

The accused is married to a Kenyan woman and together they have 11 children. In mitigation, through his lawyer Chacha Mwita, Mr Robow said he was remorseful.

The prosecution, while urging the court to give a maximum sentence, said the police officer who survived has never recovered from the terrorist attack. "The officer saw his colleague being shot at and the Cuban doctors being taken away," the prosecution said, adding that the officer is contemplating leaving his job as he does not feel safe.

The officer who was killed in the incident left behind a widow and a three-year-old child. At the time of his death, his young wife was pregnant. The prosecution said following the incident, no more foreign workers are willing to work in Mandera County.

Mr Mwita said the accused was a first-time offender and asked the court to grant him a non-custodial sentence. Mr Robow was also slapped with an additional six months in jail for carrying a Kenyan national ID card when he is a Somali national. He was found to be in the country illegally.

Mr Nanzushi said Mr Robow had worked and resided in Mandera county for more than 15 years and that he had supplied the abductors with all information regarding the doctors and the police officers.

"The abductors were well aware of the targets from the information you supplied them with."