ONE WEEK GONE BUT NO TRACE

Siaya MCA put cops on the spot over missing bishop

Charles Awich of Roho Judea Church was picked up from his home by two people on a motorbike.

In Summary

• Leonard Oriaro of Central Alego said a suspect was arrested two days ago, yet the police had yet to interrogate him to have a hint on Awich’s whereabouts.

• Siaya county police commander Francis Kooli said the case had been reported and investigations are underway. 

Roho Judea Church Bishop Charles Awich
Roho Judea Church Bishop Charles Awich
Image: COURTESY

A Siaya MCA has accused the police of colluding with kidnappers of Bishop Charles Awich of Roho Judea Church.

The cleric has been missing for a week after some unknown people picked him up from his home.

Leonard Oriaro of Central Alego said a suspect was arrested two days ago, yet the police had yet to interrogate him to have a hint on Awich’s whereabouts. He said Awich was picked up at midnight by two people on a white Yamaha motorbike that belongs to a Kenya forest officer.

“The motorbike is known and even the owner is known. I’m wondering why the police are taking longer with the case when they have all evidence,” Oriaro said.

But Siaya county police commander Francis Kooli said the case had been reported and investigations are underway. He concurred that Awich was picked from his Ndere home in Alego-Usonga subcounty by two men on a motorbike.

Awich’s wife Hellen Adhiambo blamed his husband’s tribulations on a land tussle. She said the man of the cloth had disputes with some of his relatives over a parcel. 

“We suspect he could have been kidnapped because of the ongoing land case, which is still pending before a court in Siaya,” she said.

The family reported the matter to Siaya county Police Division Headquarters under  OB No. 08/12/01/2020. The abductors allegedly wore police uniforms. Residents say the bishop was required for interrogation by officers at Alego Ndere police post.

Oriaro said the police should take advantage of technology to get leads that would help them trace the bishop. They can also use other compelling methods to get information from the suspect who was arrested, he said.

“It’s very unfortunate that the government no longer uses the hash methods of extracting information from suspects like smashing their private parts. By now the police would be having information,” the politician said.   

He cautioned that they want to see the clergyman this week, dead or alive, and not later than that.

“We know it’s the same land that saw the grandmother of the bishop murdered. The person involved is the same forest officer whose motorbike was used to abduct the bishop,” he said.

Elsewhere, officials of the Fellowship of Churches Organisation, led by Francis Odhiambo (chairman), Boniface Onyango (secretary), Ronald Mala (Roho Judea Church) and Abraham Ododa (Jerusalem Assembly Church), called for speedy investigations. They addressed the media in Siaya town.

Ododa accused the police of laxity, cautioning against letting the case end like many others in which those reported missing were later found murdered.