Abductions of youth activists and supporters raises alarm

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Abductions of youth activists and supporters raises alarm. (Courtesy)

Welcome to Kenya where Generation Z are at the forefront of a revolt against the Finance Bill by President William Ruto’s government. Their actions seem to have agitated people in high places if a spate or recent abductions are anything to go by. Activist Shadrack Kiprono alias ‘Shad Khalif’ was abducted on June 23,2024. A disturbing video from a CCTV camera surfaced on social media of Shad being abducted by three men and being forcefully shoved into a white vehicle before it sped off.

In the CCTV footage, the activist is seen walking towards a white car but before he could open it, two men are seen appear in front of him. He tries to run but they grab him while another jumps out of a white vehicle to help them bundle Shad into the vehicle. The vehicle then speeds off into the darkness. The white vehicle is an SUV that is believed to be a Toyota Land Cruiser. The incident occurred outside a shopping center in South B yesterday evening, grabbing the attention of onlookers who were left perplexed.

The scenario has triggered a lot of reactions from netizens who took to social media to condemn this act by the government. This comes after Shad shared his sentiments on Citizen TV rejecting the finance bill:

“This is a message from the young generation. We know you are very eloquent and we have heard you switching tongues in the past years. We are tired of listening to your lies. On the matters of sustainability of the demonstration ,as long as the finance bill is in its current form, it continues to be debatable. We the youths of this country do not need financial assistance to show up and make noise and use tools and resources close to us to express our displeasure and dissatisfaction. We will stop protesting when you categorically drop your demonic bill. Final message, we are going to make you the first and only one term president of Kenya. Be ready, we are sending you home in 2027.”

Shadrack appears to be one amongst a list of individuals who have been abducted or arrested because of the protests regarding the Finance bill 2024.

Last week ,Attorney General Justin Muturi’s son, Leslie Muturi was reportedly abducted on Saturday night in Nairobi’s Lavington area. In a video, Embakasi West MP Mark Mwenje disclosed that Leslie had been abducted and his car had been abandoned by the roadside. Leslie was ambushed by unknown people after leaving a club on Dennis Pritt Road shortly. He was grabbed and bundled into a vehicle which  took off. This brewed speculations and conclusions from Kenyans online claiming the motive of the kidnapping of the businessman was over the Finance bill 2024 being rejected. Leslie Muturi was released later.

Dr Austin Omondi and X mogul Billy Crazy Nairobian were also reportedly abducted and released. Dr Omondi aka JaPrado, who was abducted while conducting a blood drive outside Sikh Union, Ngara, Nairobi confirmed his release on social media yesterday. “I have been released. I was abducted this afternoon by Police incommunicado while conducting a blood donation drive at the Sikh Union. I appeal for your support in demanding my immediate release.”

This abductions pattern has shocked the nation as they seem to be happening randomly and unpredictably. In a tweet by @Bonyo Linda, she explains what happens after one is abducted after netizens noticed that those who are abducted switch to become less active than before. “I was  once arrested for terrorism by the ATPU guys. We parked at a security installation in town(Nyati House).The cells have writings on the wall. They check your phone and clone it.You lose the sense of time and place. You are forgotten, unless the outside world screams your name like LSK(Law Society of Kenya) did mine. I learnt of people who were picked up and disappeared forever. When you get out of there ,throw away that phone ,get a new simcard and start a new life, otherwise you are a walking target. Move to Signal, put two factor authentication and decentralize your messaging.”

There have been no communications or updates on Shadrack Kiprono until now. He was last seen in South B last night and we are all hoping he is alright. Posters and the hashtag  #freeshad are currently circulating.

More protests will kick off from Tuesday, June 25,2024 until Friday, June 28,2024.

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