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“Please help me find my husband...” Embu mother pleads

WEDNESDAY LIFE
By Joseph Muchiri | October 21st 2015
A troubled Lucy Wambui during the interview. Her husband John Mwangi went missing on May 4, 2015 and the family has undergone untold anguish and stress searching for him and are yet to find him. BY JOSEPH MUCHIRI/STANDARD

EMBU: It is an agonising wait that has now lasted five months with no end in sight. But that has not dimmed the hopes of the family of John Mwangi that one day he will come back home in one piece.

Each day, his wife Lucy Wambui and their two children wake up to Mwangi’s humongous absence in their home near Kirigi Primary School in Embu County. Life has never been the same since his disappearance.

Mwangi, 50, used to work as an agricultural extension officer with the Embu County Government in Runyenjes station.

When he left the house on May 4, he wished his family a good day and left for some undisclosed business at the nearby Manyatta Market, as he had done many times before.

That evening, he did not come back and to-date, his whereabouts remain unknown, while his family remains drowned in a sea of misery and fear of the unknown.

“We had an uneasy night after he failed to turn up. We enquired from people in the market and were told he had last been seen at 11pm. The next day, we embarked on a search and even reported the matter to Manyatta Police Station - OB/15/14/05/2015,” says Wambui.

Wambui, a teacher at Kavutiri Primary School, says the search was hampered by the fact that Mwangi had lost his phone sometime back while on a drinking spree.

At his employer’s office, they were told he had not reported to work that day. They even searched for him in local hospitals and mortuaries but to no avail.

Things got worse when his disappearance was reported on the local radio station and other media and a woman turned up to say she had seen him with a dark, tall man at the market at around 2pm on the day he went missing. The information rekindled a glimmer of hope. But it did not help reveal his whereabouts.

Then came a disturbing call from a man purportedly from Bamburi who claimed they had held him hostage and wanted to be sent money for fare for three people so that they could come along with Mwangi.

“I pleaded with them to allow me to speak to him but they refused. I did not trust they were genuine since some other people had tried to take advantage of the situation to defraud us. I reported the matter to the CID but they did not trace the callers,” she says.

Mwangi’s disappearance has weighed heavily on the family as they try to contemplate if a local person could be behind it.

Wambui says her husband had a disagreement with a close relative, but there was nothing to link the relative to her husband’s disappearance.

“Sometimes while coming from drinking sprees, he would get mugged and lose money to thugs and at times he would blame the same relative but he never went beyond that,” she says.

Life is now difficult for Wambui and her two children who are in college and university: “We are very worried and anxious as we are not sure he is safe wherever he is... This is an unfortunate situation that I would not wish on anyone... I used to think death was the worst...,” says Wambui amid sobs.

The family hopes that one day, Mwangi will be found alive and appeals to anyone with information about his whereabouts to share it and end their nightmare.

Wambui can be reached on 0728554674. 

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