Tears of joy as Al Shabaab captives return home after two years
20 July 2015, 19:09
Nyeri - There were songs, dance and tears of joy at Ndugamano village in Tetu, Nyeri County, as residents welcomed two Administration Police (AP) officers who had been kidnapped by Al Shabaab terrorists more than two years ago.
The two, Joseph Wambugu and Fredrick Chirchir, received a heroic welcome at the remote village.
A similar welcoming event had been conducted in Bomet County at Chirchir’s home.
Wambugu, who shed tears of joy was received by happy church members, friends and relatives.
Business came to a standstill at the nearby trading centres as friends broke into song and dance welcoming their lost son.
The sleepy village of Ndugamano was brought into life when police vehicles and those of friends snaked through the dusty roads.
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The two officers were kidnapped by Alshabaab militants on May 25, 2013 at Damajale area in Dadaab camp, Garissa County and taken to Somalia.
Several of their colleagues were killed before they kidnapped the two.
The Alshabaab had changed the captives’ names to Abdullah (Wambugu) and Abdullahim (Chirchir).
They would only be allowed to see light of the sun for few minutes four times a week, said Gitahi Kanyeki who is in charge of internal affairs at Inspector General’s office in Nairobi.
Kanyeki said the duo was rescued on May 22, this year and underwent post traumatic stress disorder counseling in Nairobi before they were released to their families.
Police first called their parents in Nairobi where they confirmed that they were their sons.
He said that the two need enough time to rest since they are still undergoing counseling.
Kanyeki said they had very long hair and very long beards by the time they were rescued and dismissed rumours that the abductees had been chopped off their hands and ears.
“It is through God’s miracle that I have arrived here. This place has changed so much and its beautiful. It’s better to die here than dying in a foreign country and brought in a casket. God and government helped us so much. I have always remembered you,” said Wambugu.
Chirchir said it was not easy to return home and lauded the government for saving them from the abductors.
Since they were abducted, the only hope the family had was phone calls from the militia group asking them to exert pressure on the government to withdraw the Kenya Defense Forces from Somalia so that they can have their son back home.
The two however could not divulge much information about their abduction with Nyeri county AP commander John Njagi urging the crowd to give them time to recover.
Njagi said the officers have been granted leave to stay with their families as they receive counseling before resuming duties.
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