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ELECTION 2022

Arrest agents of impunity who abduct, kill at will

EDITORIAL
By Editorial | Dec 25th 2021 | 2 min read

Deputy President William Ruto's communication strategist Dennis Itumbi in the hospital after he was allegedly abducted and tortured. [David Itumbi, Twitter]

The nation is following keenly the ongoing hearing of a case in which five people, among them four police officers, are accused of murdering city lawyer Willy Kimani, his client and their driver.

Whether the accused are guilty is for the court to determine. The fact of the matter, however, is that three innocent lives were snuffed out in the most gruesome manner following their abduction on June 23, 2016.

Indeed, Kenya is becoming an increasingly intolerant country. Abductions, tortures and murders are becoming the order of the day. This problem must be confronted with the seriousness it deserves now. If that doesn’t happen, it might lead Kenya to spiral into the abyss of lawlessness.

The tragedy is that besides criminals, security personnel have also been accused of perpetrating odious crimes. 

The list of those who have been be kidnapped, tortured and even killed is long. Security consultant Mwenda Mmbijiwe was abducted on June 12, 2021. His whereabouts remain unknown. In September, Sheikh Abdiswamad was abducted but was luckily released a few days later. In July, environment activist Joanna Stutchburry was killed outside her house in Kiambu. Lawyer Hassan Nandwa went missing for days in November after he went to welcome Elgiva Bwire, a terrorism convict who had completed his jail term. Bwire is still missing. Private detective Jane Mugo was hospitalised after she was attacked in Uasin Gishu in November. Still in November, a body that had lain at Naivasha hospital mortuary for months was identified as that of Gatonye Gathura, a veteran journalist. He had been strangled using a computer charging cable.

The latest victim of this unbridled impunity is Deputy President William Ruto’s digital communications strategist Dennis Itumbi. Mr Itumbi who was reported missing on Thursday, was found later in the night. He is in hospital and his brother David Itumbi says he has “been badly beaten”. “On his (Dennis) own account, he was arrested by police and beaten and tortured,” says David.

It is important that Itumbi’s tormentors, whether police or civilians, be brought to book swiftly. Kenya is the paragon of democracy in the region. In a democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights are sacrosanct. Kenya cannot be a democracy worth its salt if such violations of human rights continue to be witnessed.

The government should send a strong message that it doesn’t condone such lawlessness by ensuring those behind these criminal acts are punished severely. The culture of resorting to extra-judicial means to settle scores must be strongly discouraged.

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