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The Public needs an explanation on the River Yala saga

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Two weeks has passed since unidentified bodies were fished out from River Yala in Siaya County. Two weeks yet no tangible investigation nor a detailed statement from the Head of state with regards to this incident has been issued.

Human Rights activists on a fact finding mission made a shocking recovery of the said bodies floating around in sacks, others even had their heads covered in polythene bags, and some had been tied up all this demonstrating that the victims went through torture before they were dumped into the Yala River.

“We saw with our own eyes 21 bodies in the minimum at the Yala sub county hospital Mortuary, these bodies had torture marks …when we spoke to the morgue attendant he told us at least 10 of those 21 bodies that we saw were found in sacks that were floating in the river , initially people  thought that it was someone who had dumped garbage in the river but after a while it started attracting flies and that is when they noticed something was amiss,” Haki Africa executive Director  Hussein Khalid revealed.

Following pressure from the public and the Human rights organizations the government sprang into action by sending a special team from the Directorate of criminal investigations DCI to River Yala in a move to probe the allegations but at the same time also denied allegations that the 21 bodies found earlier were deposited at the same time as alleged.

“The number represents a cumulative body count over two years contrary to the media reports insinuating all the incidents are a recent occurrence,” Police spokesperson Bruno Shioso stated in a statement.

But Human Rights activists did not buy the governments sentiments insisting that the dumping of bodies had been happening for quite some time now asserting that the government was in the know.

“It is very clear that when these bodies are thrown into the river they are already dead. we did inquire within the Yala community whether of late they have had any missing persons and they confirmed that the community has no missing persons which clearly signifies that these dead bodies are for individuals from outside that area, they are picked from different places, tortured, killed and dumped in that particular area,” Khalid alleged.

In fact this is not the first time that the country is witnessing cases of bodies being dumped, there are multiple incidents where mutilated bodies of people who have been reported missing have been found in either rivers or even  forests . In May 2019 for example, 14 bodies were discovered dumped near the Nairobi River and to which most of the bodies were babies and children, this was during a major operation to clean up the Nairobi River.

“Actually these numbers of the dead bodies which are being retrieved from the rivers are worrying. We have called on the security agencies to investigate these cases and arrest people behind the senseless killings,” Nairobi governor then Mike Sonko said in a statement.

In the year 2020 five bodies were found deposited at Tagwa forest in Kieni with gunshot wounds on their heads while that of a woman was found hanging from a tree. Just last year 11 bodies with torture marks were found from River Tana .still the same year, 15 other bodies were discovered in Muranga rivers and again shocked the nation.

With these kinds of killings it just shows that there is a gang in the country with a sole purpose of torturing and killing people and later dump them in a number of places, but to our surprise these people have never been arrested or found.

The Human Rights activists have squarely blamed the police for perpetuating these killings especially in the state the bodies are usually found but whether this is true or not I am not in a place to say so what is important is that a thorough investigation needs to be undertaken and the suspects brought to book as they say human life is sacred.

I am concerned about the failure by police to take action even before the public discovered the bodies in river Yala, I mean don’t we have the National Intelligence Service NIS? Apart from that I am also concerned about the slow pace with which the government has reacted to this incident, the government seems not shocked or even angry as the public is, and in fact for the government everything is normal. How could all these killings happen under the government’s watch? Has any key ranking government official visited the scene? That is from head of state, Interior Ministry, or even opposition leaders? This just shows how disconnected the leadership of this country is with its citizenry.

Area MP Elisha Odhiambo came out guns blazing accusing the police for dragging their feet in probing the secretive dumping of bodies in river Yala with the lawmaker blaming the push and pull battles between the Director of directorate of criminal Investigations DCI George Kinoti and the Director of Public Prosecutions DPP Noordin Haji for the dumplings.

“It beats logic why the Investigating and Prosecutorial agencies being led by the Directorate of criminal Investigations and the office of the DPP have taken too long to solve this puzzle,” he intimated in a presser with journalists at the precincts of Parliament.

BY WEMA TOYWA   #WEMA’STAKE

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