• Thursday, 01 December 2022
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Child kidnappings in Bungoma put parents on edge.

Child kidnappings in Bungoma put parents on edge.

A wave of kidnappings has hit Bungoma County, with children being abducted and held hostage without their abductors demanding a ransom, raising questions about their motivations.

In Kanduyi constituency, two incidents have been reported in less than a month. The children are abducted as they walk to school in the early morning hours.

Parents are concerned about the abductions and have asked police to intervene.

According to Bungoma County Criminal Investigations Director Joseph Ondoro, police are investigating the incidents.

"Unfortunately, no suspects have been apprehended, but we are working with bodaboda operators to discover the motive behind the kidnapping incidents and will make arrests soon," Mr Ondoro said.

He said a 13-year-old boy was kidnapped near Uwanja Ndege, on the outskirts of Bungoma town, on Thursday morning.

"We are waiting for the boy to recover from his shock so that he can volunteer information that will lead to the arrest of the abductors," Mr Ondoro explained.

Millicent Makokha, the boy's mother, said he was still in shock and feared disclosing any information.

"My son was on his way to school when he was abducted outside our gate by people he didn't recognize." "They drugged him before riding a motorcycle with him," Ms Makokha said.

A Good Samaritan discovered him unconscious in a ditch in Chebukwa, Kabuchai constituency, about 10 kilometers from his family's home.

She claimed that the Good Samaritan brought him home before transporting him to Bungoma Referral Hospital, where he is being treated.

"He sustained minor injuries to his hands, but he is in shock and trauma," Ms Makokha said.

"Normally, he takes a bodaboda to school around 5:30 a.m., but the kidnappers jumped on him on this particular day."

She warned school administrators against requiring students to arrive at school in the early hours of the morning, exposing them to attacks or abductions.

"I praise God that he is still alive. I'm not sure what I would have done if the kidnappers had injured or killed him "Ms Makokha explained.

She claimed the kidnappers did not demand a ransom.

Dr David Wanikina, Medical Superintendent at Bungoma Referral Hospital, said the child was responding well to treatment.

"We are treating the incident very seriously in order to determine whether he was [sexually assaulted] or drugged," he said.

The incident was the area's second in less than a month.

Another child, a fifth-grade student, was recently kidnapped, drugged, and abandoned on the side of the road.

Parents and residents have asked police to increase night patrols, particularly in the morning, to prevent such incidents.

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