Parents’ agony as children vanish from playgrounds without trace
A huge number of children have gone missing in the past few weeks in a worrying trend that has left parents and guardians scratching their heads.
In Dandora phase II, a woman is searching for her 6-year-old son, who has been missing for more than a week.
Little Sean Iregi was last seen playing outside by her mother before he disappeared in thin air on August 14. Jane Iregi, his mother, says she was visiting a next door neighbor in when Sean suddenly ran outside. That was the last time he saw him.
“The door was open and he ran outside. A few minutes later, I followed him out and it was like he was running towards someone or something because I started chasing after him, but I suddenly lost him during the chase,” said Ms Iregi.
On that day, baby Sean wore a black batman t-shirt, black trousers with no shoes. He cannot talk coherently, is shy but understands English, adds Ms Iregi. He, however, does not understand Swahili.
In Ruiru, another boy also mysteriously disappeared from an estate playground.
Geofrey Gesaka, a single father, is yet to come to terms with the disappearance of his son Moses Blessing, also 6, on August 5.
On that day, Mr Gesaka went about his normal ritual of waking up his children and preparing breakfast for them. He later prepared lunch and decided to go and visit his food kiosk a few meters away.
“My children, including Moses, had lunch and he later went out to play so I left home and when I came back in the evening, I asked for Moses because I had not seen him,” said Mr. Gesaka.
He was told that little Moses had gone to visit his stepsister. The father of six, who on the same evening left for Kakamega to attend the burial of his sister, did not see any cause for alarm.
However, the next day he received a phone call informing him that his six-year-old son did not return home –and never arrived at his stepsister’s house.
Young Moses is the last born in family of six and was last seen clad in a grey school sweater stripes with white stripes on the sleeve and neck, and black and white army combat shorts.
Few cases, though, have had a good ending.
In Mathare five-year-old Charlene Atieno went missing on July 16. She was in the company of a playmate. Fortunately, she was recently found by a Good Samaritan who took her to central police station.
“She was lost for two weeks and that was the most tormenting time of my life. I left her at home and went to the market and on returning, she was nowhere to be found,” said the mother Vivian Adhiambo.
According to the baby Atieno, her friend had told her they should go and visit an aunt.
Farther away in Diani in coast, three-year-old Teresia Katumbi went missing on August 13th while playing outside their house.
One week later she was found with a woman who is suspected to have kidnapped her.
Her head had been bald shaven although without any bodily harm.
“We found her on the August 19, which also happened to be her birthday. It was a blessing for us. We took her to the hospital and found that nothing had happened to her, but her head was shaven bald. I am happy to have found my daughter and I hope justice will prevail on the lady who kidnapped her,’ said Shadrack Mutua.
Nairobi County police commander Japheth Koome told Nairobi news that they have not recorded any rise in the number of reports of missing children.
“There is no rise in the missing child report. The trend is the same,” said Mr. Koome.