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Ex-soldier flees base, returns after days

By Willis Oketch | Sep 15th 2014 | 2 min read

Kenya: The Kenya Navy military police at Mtongwe Naval Base is under pressure to explain circumstances under which a detained ex-service man escaped custody.

The service man, who later returned to the camp, is among the 26 former servicemen and an officer detained at the base for  alleged desertion of duty.

He is said to have escaped detention so as to go and burry his mother after his official request for permission was denied.

The soldiers who spent only one night at Mtongwe Navy Base have been moved back to Shimo La Tewa Prison.

They are said to have unlawfully left the military in 2007 and 2008 to work for US security firms in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait. They were arrested late last year upon their return.

The Standard learnt of the alleged escape over the weekend amid claims that his colleagues who had been moved back to the naval base from Shimo la Tewa prison, where they had spent two weeks, were returned to the civilian prison on Saturday after a day's detention at the military camp.

Victor Nabwera's dramatic escape from the naval base had puzzled the top military officers at Ulinzi House.

Kenya Navy Mtongwe base legal officer Alice Mate confirmed the escape but could not state when Mr Nabwera escaped from or returned to the base.

Captain Mate said officers were investigating how he sneaked out of the barracks and how he got back.

"Yes it is true the suspect escaped from the base. The military officers are investigating into the incident to establish how he escaped," she said.

Following the escape two weeks ago, the top military brass ordered Nabwera's 24 co-accused to be placed under close arrest at Shimo La Tewa prison.

The move, however, met resistance from their lawyers led by Daniel Kamunda who termed the action as a gross violation of their clients' rights.

The lawyers last week successfully applied before the Court Martial to have the 24 returned to the military camp, where they are under open arrest unlike at Shimo La Tewa where they are in closed arrest.


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