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Bodies of missing Nakuru traders found at City Mortuary

RIFT VALLEY
By Karanja Njoroge and Vincent Mabatuk | January 29th 2016

Two Nakuru businessmen who have been missing for the past one week have been found dead.

Their bodies were discovered at the City Mortuary, Nairobi by their relatives, who have been looking for them since they were reportedly abducted by unknown people last Friday.

Tearful family members led by Simon Mwangi Thursday identified the partially injury-riddled bodies of Joseph Chege and Simon Wachira.

According to witnesses, the two were ordered out of their vehicle and bundled into a white saloon car by armed people who had blocked their way at Heshima along the Nakuru-Nyahururu road.

The bodies were recovered in Gakoe Forest, Kiambu County, by local residents last Friday, the same day the traders went missing.

The relatives said Chege suffered a broken right hand and had blood all over his body. His friend Wachira had his stomach and face burned with a corrosive substance.

Wachira also had stab wounds in the back, neck and chest.

“In additon, our brother’s clothes are soiled and ripped-off, meaning that their tormentors tortured them before executing them,” said Mwangi.

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The vehicle that Chege was in before they were abducted was recovered at an open field near the popular Kikopey ‘Nyama Choma’ stop-over along the Nakuru-Nairobi highway.

Surprisingly, Nakuru County Police Commandant Hassan Barua Thursday said they were not aware of the recovery of the bodies. “There is no such information, I am hearing this the first time from you,” he said.

Grace Wangui, Chege’s wife, said Thursday that her family is living in fear as they do not know the motive behind the abduction and murder.

“I fear for my life and that of my family as we don’t know the motive or who the killers will target next,” she said.

Threatening leaflets

Chege was a close ally of local politicians due to his ability to mobilise market traders in the town.

Popularly known as “Jose”, he played a key role in last year’s violent eviction of hawkers from the town’s Central Business District following an order by the county government.

The trader was also at the forefront in the crackdown against illicit brews in the town last year.

The two were also leaders of a youth group that controls a local matatu terminus.

Thursday there was panic among Chege close associates after threatening leaflets were dropped near the main market. One of the leaflets to his friend read: “Watch yourself. Next is you. You are the one following Mzee. You are the Mongiki biggie.”

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