MUHURI is filing habeas corpus to compel the Inspector-General of Police, Hillary Mutyambai, to release Bakari Mbwana Mwanyota.
Habeas Corpus is a summon requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court, especially to secure the person’s release unless lawful grounds are shown for their detention.
The recourse in law, allows MUHURI to report an unlawful detention or imprisonment and request the court to order police to bring the prisoner to court to determine whether the detention is lawful.
Local security agents and two white foreign intelligence officers abducted Mbwana from his home in Likoni, Mombasa, on February 24 between 1-2 am.
The whereabouts of the 38-year-old, a father of three, remain unknown.
His search has now extended to morgues, over two months after his forceful capture.
The commandos who abducted Mbwana donned jungle uniforms resembling those worn by the Kenyan Paramilitary General Service Unit (GSU).
Security agents told Mbwana’s wife, Saida, that they were taking him to Nairobi for interrogation. They did not state what crime he had committed.
Mbwana has not been seen since. He is not at local police stations. There are no records to show he was arraigned.
Mbwana’s family is working with the possibility of a devastating outcome—death.
The family is not ruling out that Mbwana may be a victim of extrajudicial execution, ostensibly because of episodes that unfolded before his capture.
Between February 16 and 24, security agents had abducted five people in Likoni, including Mbwana. Two turned up dead, one returned, and another two are still missing.
Juma Athman, 29, and Hamisi Mwinyi, 17, were found dead at Coast Provincial General Hospital (CPGH) morgue after security officers abducted them on February 16 at 1-2 am.
They had gunshot entry wounds to the chest and wide exit gashes in the back.
The bodies had signs of torture—Athman’s neck was broken, his face swollen and covered in blood, and an eye gouged out.
Azizi Mchangamwe, 26, was abducted on February 19. He returned unhurt after three days.
Ali Tengeza, 20, abducted on February 16, is still missing, just like Mbwana.
[MUHURI Rapid response Officer Francis Auma (Left) with Mbwana’s brother, Omar Mbwana Mwanyota at Thika Level 5 hospital. Photo/Courtesy].
According to the rights defenders, the Inspector-General of police, Hillary Mutyambai, ignored their demand letter that required him to release Mbwana and arraign him if he had committed any offense.
Mbwana’s family thought he was among 12 bodies dumped at Thika Level 5 Hospital morgue between February 23 and May 7.
Their conviction appeared strengthened after one of the four missing Kitengela friends was found there.
MUHURI rapid response Officer, Francis Auma, accompanied Mbwana’s brother, Omar Mwanyota, to identify the bodies.
The result turned negative.