Tuesday November 30, 2021
The family of Ethiopian businessman Samson Tekklemichael has said they believe he was taken by Kenyan security agencies.
His wife Milen Mezgebo said only government agencies would abduct a person in broad daylight in front of a uniformed police officer.
“If those were thugs, the traffic police officers would not have allowed them to take Samson. Secondly, if they were thugs, they would have asked for ransom by now, so this is the government,” Ms Mezgebo said.
Some reports have suggested that he might have been deported to Ethiopia but Ms Mezgebo said the Ethiopian Embassy in Kenya had denied any involvement in the disappearance of the 40-year-old man and their own investigations indicate her husband is in Kenya.
“Ethiopia is our home … and we have a family there. He’s not there, he’s here in Kenya,” she told the Nation on Friday.
Criminal justice system
To show the Ethiopian government’s commitment to helping Ms Mezgebo find her husband, an official from the embassy accompanied her to the offices of Kenya’s Foreign Affairs ministry.
“The embassy is trying to help me,” she said, adding that she gave Kenyan officials a letter.
But the Kenya National Police Service dismissed suggestions he was in their custody.
“I think Kenyan intelligence can speak for Kenya and Ethiopian intelligence for Ethiopia. In Kenya we arrest suspects, take them to court and process them through the criminal justice system. We are a rule of law country, and our law enforcement pursue democratic policing ideals. If she claims she's in contact with Ethiopian intelligence then they're better placed to comment,” replied police spokesperson Bruno Shioso.
An official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said no diplomatic communication had been received on the issue and further explained that if it's a personal letter, the ministry cannot discuss it as it’s a private matter.
Yesterday, Nation reached out to the Ethiopian Embassy in Kenya but we were informed it's closed until next week.
The father of three, who has been living in Kenya since 2005, has been missing since November 19, when he was abducted as he drove his Bentley in Kileleshwa, Nairobi.
He was stopped in broad daylight and dragged into a Subaru by men in civilian clothes in front of a traffic police officer as other road users recorded the drama on their smartphones.
The Subaru station wagon’s number plate, KCD 445K, was fake.
A report from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) database shows the vehicle that should bear that registration number is a white lorry/truck and not a white Subaru station wagon.
On the day he was abducted, Mr Tekklemichael had gone to the gym and returned home for lunch before leaving to meet his friends.
Ms Mezgebo said her husband was abducted as he headed home after meeting his friends.
The abductors left his car at the scene in Kileleshwa, only for Ms Mezgebo to be informed by a friend that the vehicle was parked in the middle of the road. She then picked it up.
She said her husband lives legally in Kenya and he should be presented in court if he had done anything wrong.
“There is law and order in Kenya that is why we came to invest in this country. There is no way a government can hold someone that long (without charging him), so they should present him in court,” she said.
The High Court on Thursday ordered the Director of Public Prosecutions to establish the whereabouts of Mr Tekklemichael, directing prosecutors to appear in court on Monday, November 29, with answers.
The order followed a petition from Mr Tekklemichael’s lawyer, Stanley Kang'ahi, asking the court to compel the Inspector-General of Police to produce him in court.
In the application, certified as urgent, Mr Kang'ahi asked the court to prevent the businessman's removal from its jurisdiction, expressing fears that he could be deported.
Mr Tekklemichael, who exports gas to Addis Ababa, has Tigrayan-Eritrean roots. Ms Mezgebo has maintained that her husband is a reputable businessman who had never expressed fears about his life.
“We have never been under any investigation while here. We lived a quiet life for the period we have been here and Kenya is our home. All our children were born here,” she said.