The Baringo ward rep who went missing on Sunday has been found alive in Rongai, Nakuru County.
Mr Nelson Lotela, the Silale member of county assembly, was on Monday morning found confused in a thicket at Kirobon area.
He is currently admitted to Kabarak University Health Centre for medical check-up after what he says was a “close shave with death”.
The county lawmaker was abducted at Nginyang’ River in Tiaty as he headed home from Chemolingot trading centre before being bundled him into a saloon car.
The personal car was being escorted by a Nissan Navara pick-up, whose registration number had been scrapped off, the MCA said.
He said his interceptors claimed they were police officers and they ordered him to disembark from his vehicle before forcing him into their Saloon car.
“One of the men knocked me with a gun on my shoulders and forced me into the boot,” Mr Lotela recalled from his hospital bed.
“I asked them what I had done but of the men ordered me to cooperate.”
After being bundled into the boot, he said, he was blind-folded and driven towards Marigat town.
“I’m very familiar with the road. I think I was driven towards Mogotio. We Passed by many road blocks and I could hear them arguing with police officers that theirs was a GK vehicle (and should be left to pass without inspection),” said Mr Lotela.
After being driven for “many hours”, he says, he was taken into thicket at Kirobon area in Nakuru where he was asked if he is the spokesman of the Pokot community.
The northwestern, arid and semi-arid county has been wracked by banditry, cattle rustling and intercommunity conflicts for decades, and the government has deployed forces to hunt down criminals.
The perennial conflicts on grazing lands, water and livestock theft pit the Pokots against their neighbours—Turkana, Tugen, Ilchamus among others.
“I said no, but the officers kept on accusing me of blocking the ongoing security operation in the region. I told them that I did not go to the assembly the whole of last week as I was involved in preaching peace with the government officers on the ground,” said Mr Lotela.
“I asked them why they wanted to kill me and they said that they were just doing what they had been asked to do.”
He said after conversing in hushed tones for minutes, the armed men ordered him out of the vehicle and asked him to kneel down.
They later directed him towards a ditch.
“They asked me to say my last words but I told them I had nothing to say as I had not been told my mistake. I waited them to fire at me but nothing happened,” he said.
He said that after about five minutes of silence, he realized that his assailants had left the scene.
“I managed to get to the main road without any shoes and Good Samaritans took me to hospital,” said the MCA.
Rongai Officer Commanding Police Division Japheth Kioko confirmed the finding of Mr Lotela, saying they were investigating the matter with a view of arresting the MCA’s captors.
Tiaty MP William Kamket has said that those who abducted the ward representative were police officers.
“We are sure the people who abducted the MCA are police officers because the guns they were carrying are similar to those carried by the Recce Squad,” Mr Kamket told the Nation.
“I am appealing to the people of Kenya, human rights agencies and the president to intervene and help the people of Tiaty. Tension is building up in that region.”
According to the MP, the vehicle into which the MCA was bundled was intercepted by police at Mogotio road block and one of the occupants “with a bullet-proof jacket” disembarked and positively identified themselves as Recce Squad officers.
Mr Kamket said extra- judicial killings targeting the Pokots were on the rise in Baringo and Laikipia counties and asked Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinett to intervene.
Mr Lotela’s driver, who was with him at the time of the abduction, noted the vehicle’s registration number and reported the matter at Nginyang’ Police Station.
It is not the first time an MCA is being kidnapped in Baringo.
In May last year, Churo/Amaya ward MCA Thomas Minito went missing and his body was found four days later floating in Odonyo Sabuk River in Machakos County.
Mr Minito was reportedly approached by three people at a hotel in Kabarnet town as he took lunch.
The three men produced their identity cards purporting to be police officers and ordered him to record a statement at the local police station.
They whisked away the ward representative without even producing a warrant of arrest.
Three months earlier, Loyamorok MCA Fredrick Cheretei and Tiaty parliamentary aspirant Simon Pepee Kitambaa were shot dead in Marigat by armed criminals.
The two politicians from Tiaty were killed by hooded gunmen at a night club.
Mr Cheretei’s vehicle was torched in the attack while the windscreen of the one belonging to Mr Kitambaa was smashed.
“We are yet to come to terms with the deaths of the three prominent leaders from Tiaty. Justice is yet to be delivered and again we here of another leader being abducted. This is unacceptable,” said Mr Kamket.