Political leaders in Tana River County have condemned last month’s abduction of 23-year old Italian social worker, Sylvia Romano.
Speaking during the Jamhuri Day Celebrations at Hola Stadium Wednesday, the leaders called on residents to cooperate with security agents with a view to finding the 23 year old woman.
Governor Dhadho Gaddae Godhana, Senator Juma Wario, Woman Representative Rehema Hassan and Members of the National Assembly Ali Wario (Bura), Said Hiribae (Galole) and Ali Wario Guyo (Garsen) said the incident had given Tana River County a bad name and should be condemned in the strongest terms.
The six leaders lauded the efforts of security apparatus in the county for dedicating their efforts to seek the kidnapped woman and urged wananchi to join hands to ensure the abducted woman is found alive.
Governor Godhana urged the community or people that may have been involved in the incident to rethink their action, sit down and agree to hand over the woman to him so he may hand her over to the authorities.
“I urge that community or persons that was involved in this unfortunate incident to sit down, talk and agree to bring the woman from where you have hidden her; and bring her even if it is to the governor’s official residence so that I and the County Commissioner can take her to where she is supposed to be taken,” he said.
“I ask those holding the woman to kindly release her because the incident is giving our county a bad name, which does not augur well with our ailing economy as investors and tourists will shun our county,” pleaded Ms. Hassan.
Senator Juma Wario urged the residents of Tana River not to leave the matter in the hands of security personnel but instead cooperate with them to flush out criminals.
“I ask you to go into the forests and look for the Italian woman because criminals who carry out their activities in Kilifi and hide in Tana River do not want peace to thrive in our county.”
Garsen MP Ali Wario Guyo, while rebuking the kidnappers, urged the County Security and Intelligence Committee not to spare any effort to find the woman.
He lauded the security officers for their efforts that had led to the arrest of one of the main suspects in Bangale area, about 250 kilometres north-west of Hola Town on Sunday night.
“Do not relent, and wananchi are with you, till that woman is found alive,” Mr. Guyo told the security committee that is led by County Commissioner Oning’oi ole Sosio.
Bura’s Ali Wario said it was against the tradition of the Orma community to hold a woman the way the abductors were doing and strongly condemned the incident.
“I would like to commend you, the security team in this county for the efforts you are making in seeking for the abductee and we shall support you in this,” he said.
Ms. Romano was kidnapped in Chakama, Kilifi County but security agents believe she is being held somewhere in Tana Rivet County.
On Sunday, one suspect was arrested in Bangale, about 250 kilometres from Hola town but security officers have refused to give more information saying doing so would jeopardize investigations.
The state is also holding 13 other suspects, including a member of the Tana River County Assembly and a Kenya Wildlife Service officer based in Minjila, Tana Delta Sub County.
By Emmanuel Masha