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MAN who bravely pursued Kamiti Three speaks

 A Kitui resident who led his village in capturing the three convicted terror escapees has shared his experience of what happened.


Paul Mwaniki (in white T-Shirt) takes a selfie with convicted terrorists at Endau Location, Kitui County where they were captured as shown in the middle photo. On the right is the prisoners' arrival back to Kamiti Maximum Prison where the jail break happened. There is no word yet from the government about rewarding those who led to recapture of the trio who had a Sh60Million bounty on their heads. Photo/COURTESY

Convicted terrorists Musharraf Abdalla Akhulunga alias Zarkarawi, Mohammed Ali Abikar and Joseph Juma Odhiambo alias Yusuf escaped from Kamiti Maximum Prison, Kenya’s most guarded prison Sunday.

Musharraf was jailed in connection with his role in an attempt to attack Parliament Buildings on September 30, 2012. He was born in Mumias, Kakamega County.

Mohamed was serving a 41-year sentence for his role in Garissa University attack in April 2, 2015. 148 people perished in the terrible ordeal. Most the victims were students.

Eye witness Paul Mwaniki told Citizen Digital that the residents of Endau Malalani were not aware of the mode of transport the trio used to reach their town.

Mwaniki and other residents were able to identify the three since they seemed new to the area by the way they moved around. He says they used zig zag motion beside the road and near the bushes. They then switched sides when they hit a dead end.

“Walikuwa na ujanja ingine kwa sababu walikuwa wanaenda zig zag… mara wanavuka barabara wanaenda pande hii… wanatembea kwa msitu, wakiona hiyo msitu imeshikana sana wanaruka tena wanaenda pande hiyo ingine ya barabara”, he said.

He went on: Wanatembea kando ya msitu lakini hawaachi barabara mbali ndio wasipotee… hawajui , ni wageni… hawa watu wamejulikana wakati wameingia Endau Malalani Ward, sasa hatujui walifikaje Endau… hatujui walibebwa na gari ama walikuja namna gani”, explained the young man.

Feared attacks

After establishing the trio was not armed, they pursed them and captured them with ease and without fear. Paul admits that they feared attacks from outside their town but not from the trio who was now in their hands.

Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai revealed that the three were captured deep inside a forest and they were suspected to have been on their way to Garissa then cross the border to Somalia.

Police mounted a massive manhunt for the three terror convicts after escaping Kamiti Maximum Prison. Their efforts yielded fruits on Thursday when they captured them near the border of Kitui and Tana River counties.

Police arrested the trio at Malalani market in Endau Location, about 100 kilometres East of Kitui town as they bought refreshments such as milk, bottled water and biscuits.

The trio asked residents of Malalani for directions to Garissa and Boni Forest. Boni Forest is in Lamu County.

They noted that one of the escapees had swollen legs and was limping.

A Sh60 Million bounty was placed on their heads for any source of information that would lead to their recapture.

Malalani is sandwiched between Mwingi Game Reserve to the north and South Kitui Game Reserve to the south. Media reports say that it has long been a hideout for terror suspects.

The three were hiding during the day and trekked at night to avoid being caught as they were constantly on police radar.

Chiefs and their assistants mobilized the community in waging a massive manhunt against the three. This was a multi-agency operation.

According to Kitui County Police Commander Leah Kithei, the three were arrested in Mwingemi area as they tried to find their way to the Mwingi-Garissa highway.

The three were flown back to Kamiti Maximum Prison in National Police Service helicopter. In blindfolds, they looked frail as they were bundled into waiting police vehicles.

The trio will be interrogated and taken to court for sentencing. If found guilty, their sentencing will be added to their current jail terms as terrorism convicts.

What remains to be seen is if the government will honour its promise of paying a Sh60 Million bounty reward for those who will give information leading to the recapture of the trio.


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