- DCI had placed a KSh60 million bounty on the Kamiti Three for anyone who would provide information on their whereabouts.
- The three fugitives were convicted of terror-related charges.
“Ee lazima nitoroke! Si ninarudi jela miaka mingine, pamoja na ile yangu?” These are words by Musharaf Abdallah, alias Alex Shikanda, one of the three convicts who had escaped from Kamiti Maximum Prison.
Speaking to the public on Monday at the Kahawa Law Courts, Shikanda said that if given a chance to escape from prison again, he will grab it.
“Nilikuwa natafuta uhuru wangu, nimekaa miaka kumi hapa ndio maana nikajaribu kutoroka,” Shikanda said.
The three terror convicts have since been sentenced to 15 months each in prison after pleading guilty.
Shikanda (34), Joseph Juma Odhiambo (30) and Mohammed Ali Abikar (35), escaped from Kamiti Maximum Prison in November 15. They were captured at Enzio Forest in Kamuluyuni village, Mwingi East sub-County, on Thursday morning, November 18.
A day before the arrests, the trio was spotted in Endau location, Kitui East, and are believed to have walked several kilometres to Enzio forest.
The three are believed to have been heading to Somalia through Tana River County. According to locals, they took a rest just 15 kilometres from an area where they could have hacked to cross to the neighbouring county.
“Had they found their way among the pastoralists who have erected manyattas in that part of Kitui County, there is no way they would have been found. They simply ran out of luck,” Juma Kilonzi, a resident, told journalists.
How Kamiti Three were arrested
On Wednesday morning, the hollow-eyed convicts stepped into an eatery at Endau market. They asked a lady running the facility if they could charge their phone, to which she replied “no”. The three then disappeared into thin air.
Curious and suspicious, the lady informed locals about the three characters.
“She told us they looked very tired and dirty and because I had heard the story about the fleeing Kamiti convicts, my curiosity was aroused,” Mwaniki, one of the locals who, in the company of the NPR members, participated in capturing the three, told Standard.
The brave Mwaniki, perhaps buoyed with the KSh60 million bounty the police had put on the heads of the three convicts, started following a trail of footprints he had spotted.
Five kilometres into his arduous mission, he bumped into two members of the armed National Police Reservists (NPR) who also joined the search party.
Several kilometres into the forested area, The Standard reports, they found the fugitives resting under an acacia tree.
“When we picked them, the three were seated under trees, but at a distance from each other. I approached them and asked that they identify themselves. They quickly told me they were charcoal burners. Curiously, they did not have any tools related to the kind of work they were claiming to do,” Vetelo Komu, the corporal in charge of Nuu ward-based NPR says.
Kamiti Three charges
Abdalla was serving 22 years for attempting to bomb Parliament Buildings in Nairobi in 2012. Odhiambo was serving 15 years after he was caught attempting to enlist into Somalia’s Islamist group Al Shabaab. Abikar on the other was serving 41 years for his role in the 2015 Garissa University attack.
The three are said to have escaped through a hole in the prison cell which they created by dislodging a brick. They would allegedly cover it up with a cardboard as a disguise and from there, they monitored the wardens’ movements.
On the night of their escape, they used makeshift ropes made from blankets and broomsticks to scale the high walls.