As the world marked International Day of the Disappeared people on 30th August, a family at Kona Mbaya village, Lumakanda location in Lugari Sub County is whirling in agony after the disappearance of a relative just days after he was arrested with two liters of illicit
brew nearly eleven years ago.
According to Dismus Khisa, his young brother Vincent Nyongesa, then 27, was arrested by administration police officers from Mjengo AP post who raided their village to flush out chang’aa brewers on 19th December 2006. Earlier, he said, the same administration police had unsuccessfully tried to arrest his brother, a father of four.
After failing to trace Nyongesa in their first attempt, the frustrated APs went away and swore to teach him a lesson. “We were informed that he was locked up at Lumakanda police station where his OB number was 33/12/06 and was arraigned before an Eldoret
court on 22/12/2006 his case number was number 8496/06. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a two months jail term or an optional fine of Kshs 2,000 before he could be freed,” explained Khisa.
But events turned awry one week after the sentence when Khisa set out to pay the fine for his sibling to be released. “After paying the fine at Eldoret law courts and a release order was prepared, I headed to Eldoret GK prison where I was astounded to be informed that my brother was not among the inmates there,” explained Khisa who has been actively involved in his brother’s case.
He was given the register of prisoners who arrived on the same day his brother was sentenced but his name was missing and he was told to go back to court and ask about the prisoner’s transfer details.
Sadly, some court officials dismissed him from the premises for causing disturbance and even the original copy of his court receipt was taken away.
Back at the prison, a friendly warder referred him to a probation officer after advising him that the suspect might have been put under community service order (CSO).
On the visit to the Lugari probation officer’s office, Khisa was given a note by one Alex Gimnyigei which read in part, “Our records for December 22, 2006, do not show that Vincent Nyongesa was placed on CSO.”
“This sent me to a state of panic and I rushed back to the court where one officer rudely turned me away; as he shouted telling me I should continue with the search without involving them (courts),” lamented Khisa.
Back home a serious search was started by the entire family to establish Nyongesa’s whereabouts to no avail. He said both parents have died while searching for their son unsuccessfully.
“When my brother was arrested our father Mzee Peter Murefu was the 84. Despite his age, he tried all means possible to find his son to no avail till he died in 2011 and a few months later our mother Florence Naliaka died too,” narrated Khisa.
Our search has taken us to hospitals, mortuaries, our relatives’ homes but we haven’t been able to find Vincent,” said Khisa.
He added, “At the Eldoret Referral Hospital mortuary, in 2007 we managed to come across a corpse that resembled my brother but when we went back for verification we found it was already claimed.”
Mr. Khisa has appealed to the government to help the family to trace their brother whether dead or alive. According to Khisa, his brother might have disappeared sometime after his sentencing and his departure from the court premises.
Meanwhile, a senior police officer in Lugari confirmed that indeed the suspect was held at the Lumakanda police station on December 21, 2006, before being escorted to Eldoret law courts the following day.
He had been listed in the occurrence book under number 9/22/12/06 after he was brought in by Corporal Patrick Obege of Majengo administration police base. “Our mandate on suspects ceases immediately we hand them over for court process,” said the officer.
The family appeals to anybody with information on whereabouts of Vincent Nyongesa to contact Lumakanda police division or Dismus Khisa on telephone number 0716244023.