Police in Murang’a have arrested two people suspected of kidnapping an elderly man in Maragua area on Tuesday evening.
Thomas Mwaga, the victim who is said to be 100 years old, was on his way to the chief’s office to make a report that one of his grandsons was having discipline issues and was dropping out of school.
A saloon car pulled up beside the man as he was walking to the chief’s camp and the two occupants offered him a ride.
While on their way, the two occupants tricked the man that they owed him Ksh200,000 which was left behind when he ‘sold’ them a piece of land.
They asked the man to give them a total of ksh50,000 so that he can receive his whole amount of money.
The vehicle went straight to the neighbouring Maragua town and the two suspects, a man and a woman, asked Mwaga to withdraw ksh50,000 from his bank account.
The woman escorted him to the banking hall but as he was still in the queue, the man who was the driver walked in and informed her that it was better to make the withdrawal in Murang’a town to avoid the delays.
The three then left Maragua for Murang’a town but the car diverted at Mbombo area and took a feeder road towards Maragua ridge.
It is then that Mwaga who is said to be over 100 years and has a slight hearing impairment realized that something was off and started making noise.
They ordered him to shut up and started frisking him.
But the confusion caused the vehicle to veer off the road and hit a rock by the roadside. This gave him the chance to disembark from the vehicle, screaming that the two suspects wanted to kill him.
One of the suspects flagged down a boda boda rider and got the mzee from the scene as passersby who had gathered at the scene contacted the police.
Wainaina Mwaga, the victim’s son, lauded the police for rushing to the scene and apprehending the suspects before they could flee.
Their vehicle, a Toyota Axio, was also towed to Maragua police station as the victim’s family was contacted.
He said the suspects took advantage of his father’s poor hearing to manipulate him and steal from him.
When we found him, Mwaga was sitting in his small kitchen basking by the fire.
He had trouble expressing himself.
Samuel Ndung’u, his son in law, said he received a call from his in-laws informing him that Mwaga had been kidnapped.
They said the incident has shocked the family but expressed joy that he is safe and that the suspects did not succeed to withdraw money from his account.
Tens of locals flocked Mwaga’s home when word went round that he had gone through the ordeal, many sympathizing with the centenarian.
Peter Mwangi, a village elder, condemned the incident that he said has never before been witnessed in the village.
Mwangi appealed to youths to strive to make money legally and avoid crashing with the law.
Area chief Daniel Kimani said the last time Maragua was rocked by kidnaps was over 8 years ago when victims would be taken to Summer area where the thugs had a hide-out.
But since then, Kimani said security officers have managed to clean up the area and restore sanity.
The chief said the suspects seemed to have trailed the old man and knew when to pounce on him.
Kimani however cautioned locals against boarding unknown vehicles to avoid finding themselves in similar situations.
“We are appealing to locals to report any suspicious characters they may spot in their villages,” the chief said.
The incident comes at a time when disappearances have been on the rise including security analyst Mwenda Mbijiwe who went missing in the month of June and is yet to be found.
Sub-county police commander Alexander Lusala confirmed that the two suspects were in police custody and that they would be arraigned in court on Thursday.