By ABDIMALIK HAJIR
A taxi driver in Garissa Town has claimed that he was tortured by two Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) personnel.
Mr Abdiwahid Abdi claimed that the soldiers clobbered him senseless before burying him in a quarry in the outskirts of the town under the scotching sun.
The soldiers, alleged the victim, mistreated him in bid to force him to give affirmative answers to their interrogations despite him not being aware of the information they were seeking from him.
Mr Abdi, in an interview with the Nation, said he passed by a road barrier manned by the KDF while carrying a mother and her child inn his car.
The soldiers allegedly stopped him and asked for his Identification documents and those of his passengers.
He said after identifying himself and giving out his license and identity card they were allowed to proceed.
The victim claimed that after reaching the next road barrier at the Modika check-point, about six kilometres from Garissa Town, also manned by armed KDF personnel, he noticed a Toyota Land Cruiser which was apparently trailing him before he saw the soldiers beckoning to him to stop and turn back.
“I was beckoned to turn back by the KDF soldiers in the Land Cruiser which was following me from behind while I was at the Modika check-point. I told them to let me drop the passenger then I would come back,” he said.
“They insisted I turn back which I did. I also pleaded with them to first allow me take the passenger to her destination because she had paid for the service.
“That was when two of them alighted from their vehicle and boarded my taxi,” he added.
He claimed the two officers drove with him up to where the passengers were dropped before ordering him to divert into a quarry site in the outskirts of the town, where he claimed his ordeal of torture started in earnest.
“They ordered me to alight from the vehicle and started interrogating me over the routes I use in the town and number of other vehicles plying the same routes on a daily basis.
SOUGHT TO KNOW DRIVERS’ BACKGROUNDS
“They also sought to know the background of each driver, which I told them was impossible for anyone to know. They then started clobbering me brutally using truncheons,” he claimed as he showed bruises on his body.
“After clobbering me with their rungus, they ordered me to lie down in the open quarry before they ordered the quarry worker to cover me with the hot soil except on my head,” Mr Abdi told said while showing his swollen arm and thighs.
“I was buried alive under the scorching sun with only my head poking out of the sand for about one hour. It was a very painful moment in my life and up to now I don’t understand why the soldiers did that to me because I believe I have never done anything wrong,” he said.
He alleges that after torturing him they compelled him to drive them again to the town centre.
TAKEN TO HOSPITAL
He was taken to Garissa Referral Hospital where he says he was admitted for three days before being discharged.
He has since reported the matter to the police and now demands justice. At the same time, he has demand for compensation from the government for the alleged unjustified brutality by the KDF soldiers.
He said he could identify the soldiers who allegedly assaulted him physically.
However, when contacted, Garissa OCPD Benjamin Ong’ ombe said he was not aware of the incident but promised to start immediate investigations into the claims.
“I am not aware of the said incident but we will launch our immediate investigations after we receive the report. It is wrong for anyone to assault,” he said.