A family in Salah ward, Madogo division of Tana River County was last week thrown into confusion after their son whom they had presumed dead and buried resurfaced one year later.
It all started in June last year when Abdirahaman Abdi Osman 14, was arrested by Saka chief Mumina Harun when he sneaked under the cover of darkness into her house at around 2am claiming that he wanted to buy a mobile phone airtime recharge card.
Chief Mimina called the local elders who interrogated the boy and advised the administrator to take him to the Madogo Police station.
On the way, the suspect who had been tied with ropes on the hands and legs untied himself and escaped from the car boot.
However, the chief proceeded to the police station and reported the incident before surrendering the suspect’s mobile phone and the ropes that he left in the car boot.
The boy’s family on receiving the news of their son’s disappearance blamed the incident on the chief and demanded the administrator be held responsible as the prime suspect.
A week later, a body that had its hands and legs tied together with ropes was recovered at Bakuyu area on the banks of river Tana which the family claimed was that of their son.
It was taken to the Garissa referral hospital by the police who later released it to the family for burial in accordance with the Islamic rites.
The DCI officers based at the Madogo police station took samples from the body for DNA testing but by the time the boy resurfaced the results were not yet in.
Although there are those who felt that the matter was rushed with the sole purpose of ‘fixing’ the chief and having her sacked, an inquest file was opened and Chief Mumina was among the suspects that were to be arraigned in court.
Elders from Mumina’s family and the boy have been consulting in meetings for the past one week on how to resolve the matter and have the chief cleared of any wrongdoing.
While confirming the resurfacing of the said boy, Warta community leader Abdillahi Shako asked for forgiveness from their Munyoyaya counterpart whom they thought to have participated in the ‘killing’ of their son.
“We want to assure the Munyoyaya community that the boy we thought had been killed is alive and the one we found along the river is clearly not ours,” Shako said.
“We have reported the matter to the police and we will continue to engage with all the communities in Tana River to amicably resolve this matter,” he added.
The boy’s father, Barrow Osman, asked for forgiveness from both the Munyoyaya community and Sala Location chief Mumina Harun for having accused them of killing their son.
“I thank God that the boy we thought was dead has come back to us. We are asking our brothers from Munyoyaya to forgive us,” Osman said.
Munyoyaya’s deputy King Abubakar Garacha said that the murder allegations were a lie meant to smear the name of their daughter, who is the first woman chief in the county.
“The allegations that Chief Mumina Harun killed this boy were all lies. As a community, we have forgiven the Warta community because we have been living together in harmony for decades,” Garacha said.
“We want to ask the authorities, the police who were investigating this matter to clear our chief for all the allegations that were levelled against her,” he added.
Bangali Deputy County Commissioner Joseph Kipkorir said that due process will be followed to clear the chief, close the case and clear her of any wrongdoing.