Local journalist Wambui Mwangi explains the ordeal she went through when she was kidnapped few days ago…
Jesus Thy Kingdom Come…!
I Wambui Mwangi Wokabi, am a living testimony that God is alive. He is here with us. I was hijacked by armed robbers on Wednesday 30th January 2019 on my way from Kijabe AIC hosp. I was driving a Toyota Premio KBZ 859B metallic Silver. I had just finished eating mahindi Choma that I had bought on my way. Upon reaching Kiracha area where the Kamae forest begins, I was flagged to stop by two police men who were clad in full police uniform and branded yellow jackets.
They were in the company of another man who was not in uniform, he was in a red T-shirt. A navy blue car that was seemingly to be going to the direction I was coming from had also stopped on the road. I thought they had been stopped by the officers just like me. I innocently obliged and one of them asked me why I was overspeeding. “Madam, kwa nini unakimbia? ” I replied “mimi sijakimbia kwa sababu hata hii barabara imejaa mashimo.” I am not overspeeding because this road is full of potholes. “Then bring your driving licence.” The officer demanded. I stretched my left hand to get the DL from my laptop bag that was at the back seat.
Before I could unzip the bag, I realized that the officer had his hand on the car unlock key, he ordered me to step out of the vehicle saying “You’re under arrest” I asked him, over what? What have I done? By then he was already holding my hand and it is at this point I had a hunch that these were robbers. I asked him to allow me pick my phone and porche. I was whisked to a waiting car and got sandwiched between the two uniformed officers. The one on my right hand ordered me to surrender my car key which I obliged. He ordered me to explain where the cut off for the car was which I did through descriptions as he handed the car key to the man who was in a red T-shirt. He closed the door and asked me to introduce myself. “madam unaitwa nani? ” Naitwa “Wambui” I replied.
On mentioning my name, he immediately changed the language and started talking to me in Kikuyu. “Rîu Wambui rî, ithuî tûtirî borithi. Ithûî túrî mîici na wîra wiitû nî kûiya na kûraga.” Now Wambui, we are not police officers. We are thieves and our job is to steal and kill. I felt a cold shiver down my spine. I started crying and I was scolded with a stern warning that if I will not behave as if we are together and nothing that has happened, I will face the music. The thief on my right handed me a handkerchief and I wiped my tears and pretended that all was well. By then, the vehicle was being driven towards Kamae where I had come from. They covered my head with a headgear that covered even my face but I pleaded with them not to cover my nose. They folded it in a way that my nose was safe telling me that they can’t allow me to die before they execute their mission. I could tell that the vehicle left the tarmac and we were driving on a rough road. I was ordered to keep my eyes closed even if I had been covered.
They asked for my Equity Bank ATM Pin. I could hear the one on the right side communicate with the thief who was handed my car key. Immediately he finished talking to him, he ordered to tell them where I work without lying. I told him that now that you warned me against lying, I will tell you the truth that I am a reporter and a news correspondent based in Murang’a. On hearing that, he pulled a pistol from his waist and scolded, “You media people are good at reporting that we carry toys. Is this one here a toy gun? He asked me while cocking the gun and I closed my eyes pleading to him that I am ready to do as he orders and thus I have never reported about robbery. The one on the left also removed his pistol and told me to behave nicely that my life is based in how I will behave. The caller from the other end would ask for more time to get to his destination. The robber on my right seemed to be their commander in chief.
He would defy his driver’s proposal to have me lie on the floor of that car. I remember at some point they quarreled and the commander told the driver, “We can’t steal everything from her and then leave her with health problems. That is inhuman!” The driver felt offended and replied to his commander that “I hope you will not let us be deceived by this girl’s sweet tongue.” The commander told him to keep driving and I could use my hand to pat him as a way of saying thank you. It reached a point I moved my right hand at the back and held on my spine. By the way, Iwas coming from Kijabe hosp for my clinic with a spinal surgeon. It’s a treatment I started on August last year and in all this, I have seen God healing me. All my health records including the MRI were in my car. Back to my story in the hands of robbers. I narrated my spinal cord illness story to their commander coz the one on the left seemed uninterested and had moved to the co-driver seat leaving me at the back left and the commander at the back right. We told a lot of stories, at some point we could laugh but my laughter would be cut short on remembering that I was probably laughing my last in this life. My back pain accelerated and I could not relax anymore.
The commander dint raise any alarm. He took it easy with me but the thief on the co-driver’s seat suddenly shouted “Wee gathee tiga kwîhe mûhiki ûyû! Úyú agútwîka gîcanjama.” You boss! Stop giving his woman too much freedom. She might cause us some trouble”. The commander replied to him, “just let her be. She is very cooperative”. They agreed to take me to a tour which I did not understand what it meant. I pleaded with them not to kill me and again, my good and considerate thief told me, “I don’t make promises but I promised not to kill you. So, can you relax!” I apologized. Alas! I smelled a very strong stench of something decomposing. I started vomiting and my good thief gave me a carrier bag to vomit in.
He commended me for my cooperation saying am one of a kind. However, he warned me that if I dare trick him with my goodness, they will kill and leave me to rot in the forest. I told him that he only needs to tell me the guidelines or the do’s and donts so that I don’t mess up. In fact, I asked him to tell me if he sees me make a mistake or even sit in an awkward position. He told me that he is a good teacher in that and would guide me accordingly. Then he engaged me in a Q and A. “Are we bad people?” I said no. “But we have stolen from you?” I replied that no earthly material is compared to human life and since they had spared my life, that shows they are good people. “Wambui you are a very wise girl.” We all laughed at the joke. Much of the stories we told surrounded numerous theft they conducted and how the victims behaved. The vehicle stopped at some point and the good commander ordered the co-driver thief to buy me some drinking water since I was still vomiting.
He bought water for everyone in the car but I did not drink mine due to vomiting. The commander apologized for making me go through such ordeal and he narrated to me stories that he is an engineer who is jobless but the robbery job is well paying. He told me that he has heavily invested and his wife who coincidentally is called Wambui like me thinks that the husband is a private investor and an interprenuer. We all laughed. All this time, we were still on the move. The car stopped severally and one of the thieves would come out and make a call, visit an ATM or urinate. I kept on pleading to them not to kill me. I told them I had a sick child in the hospital and my husband was unwell, so killing or drugging me would be an end to my entire lineage. I asked the engineer if I could be of help to get him a job and promised that I can help him out but he retorted that once we are done with you today, no more meetings, I insisted that I would like to meet him again, just him and not the others but he objected.
Let’s get back to around 1pm when my husband called my number and they all went quiet. I asked them, who is calling me? The good thief who by that time was holding my phone said its written husband. I told him to allow me talk to him since he was expecting me at Murang’a town. He reminded me to behave as if all is OK. I told my husband all was well and thus I was on my way back. I added that I was all alone because the child had been admitted. When my husband became inquisitive, I told him we will talk later and hanged on… Back to the engineer story. I requested him to pass me a white-rouded container that was in my porch. He opened it and asked what it was but on seeing a rosary inside the container, he handed it to me very quickly and said, “as you pray, please remember us.” The foolish co-driver thief started mocking God and said, “We also pray. Don’t think that we are pagans! But your praying won’t change any of our plans.” I did not respond to him. In fact, I had grown to ignore him and I could only reply to my caring thief who had a human heart. But I told God quietly, “see how your name is being mocked and prove to them that you are God almighty.” The commander told them to keep quiet for the prayers but I told them to continue with their stories as I was to pray silently. I want to be sincere here, I tried to pray but I could not. I couldn’t even remember the Lord’s prayer. Immediately I prayed the first line… Our father who is at heaven…
All the other lines disappeared from my memory. The devil was indeed at work! But I remembered a few lines in the Divine Mercy, as I had been taught by my dad Charles Mwangi Mbui, where I only kept on repeating the same thing, “For the sake of his sorrowful passion… Have mercy on us and on the whole world.” I repeated that as I touched my rosary beads. After I finished, I did not return the rosary to its white container. I put it on my neck. The rude thief was still interjecting even during my prayer session and I could tell God, please shut his mouth. It reached a point the one who took off with my car made a long call and my good thief had to talk outside the vehicle, probably not to give me too much information or even a clue as to where they were taking my car. . After driving for sometime, my good thief briefed me with a chilling message. “It has come a time that we say goodbye to you Wambui.” Tears fell on my clothes and by blouse actually got wet. “You mean after complying to everything that you said I will eventually die? I asked him.
He quickly responded, “I don’t make promises but I promised you that you won’t die for I want you to see your children in the evening just as I will see mine when I get back home today.” “But you seem to love the death topic so much, who said that we are going to kill you?” He added. I once again apologize and after travelling for like 10 minutes, he told me that only three minutes left we go our separate ways. This time, I kept quiet and reminded God of the prayers that I had prayed since I was a child. That there is no dustbin to Every prayer. I reminded God of things that I had done to touch the lives of his poor people one case where I reported of a 26 year old Raphael Waweru of Kangema who was seeking financial help for head operation. I reminded God of several issues of Mercy that I had done and asked him to return the favour by saving my life. To my surprise, the compassionate thief said, “I don’t understand why am having this feeling that I should not harm you in anyway.
An inner voice is telling me to protect you instead” I pat his hand for the second time and replied, “It’s because we share one thing in common. The living God that you and I pray. Your God is still my God. You prayed him in the morning to help you get something for your family and eventually get back to your kids safely. This is the same prayer I made to our God and see, the God has made the desires of your heart come true. You successfully hijacked me and got everything that I had. The only thing remaining for you is to see yours kids safe in the evening and that is my desire too. To see mine and attend to the one in hospital. So, please let me see my children and God will forever protect you.” I stopped talking. I could feel a sign of relief from them all. The vehicle stopped. None said a word. After two minutes, my good hearted robber opened the door and stepped out. It took like a minute before he opened the left door where I was seated from outside. He called my name softly, “Wambui” I did not talk. I was in tears. I knew my time do die has come. “Stop crying because I have not hurt you in anyway and I have no time to waste. If you annoy me, I will be violent on you.” He asked me out of the car. “Can I open my eyes now?” I asked.
He said I should not open the eyes. It is at this point I knew my time to be alive is up. Since my head was still covered and I could not see ehere to step, I stretched my left hand to him. He held my hand. Helped me out of the car and we both made about six steps forward. I held his hand so tight because probably this is the last human being to hear my voice under the sun. I requested him to just give me a few seconds to say a word. He agreed. “May God bless you for protecting me from being hurt in this process. May the car and everything that you stole from me be of help to you.” I told him. He said an Amen and also blessed me with this words,”Thank you too Wambui for being so cooperative. Given a chance, I would wish to meet you again but that would be risky for me and may God help you get more than what we have taken from you that the next time we bump on you, we will have something to steal and probably treat you much better because you have a good heart.” I replied with two Amen’s “Amen! Amen! ” After my Amen, he removed my head gear from behind and asked me to remember the rules that I should not look back. I said a thank-you as he bid be goodbye.
JOURNEY THROUGH THE FOREST
I started walking. My first four steps were shacky and my heart went cold. I was waiting to hear a gun shot that would have dropped me dead. I walked through the rough road without looking up or back! There was no sound. Just a quiet forest and the abandoned rough road. I lifted my head straight and I could only see bends ahead of me and a heavy thicket in the forest. No turning back! That warning kept on lingering my mind. After walking for like 10 minutes without seeing any sign of human life, no bodaboda, no vehicle. As I kept on walking, I heard the sound of a dog gnashing of bones. I stopped still. I looked at the right hand side where the sound was coming from but I could not see due to the heavy thicket. I held my rosary on the neck so tight and talked to God quietly. “Ooh God! You saved me from dying through a bullet, please don’t let me die in the teeth of an animal. Upon making this short prayer, I looked up in the skies and saw a very bright blue sky that gave me hope.
I asked God to give me a sign of how I will get outside the deep forest. And before I could stop staring at the beautiful skies, I asked myself how stupid I was to walk so deep into the forest without thinking that the robbers were directing me that way for them to escape. I gained courage and turned back to where I was coming from. I started walking back. I looked at the farthest corner but i could not see the robbers anywhere. That means they never followed me, I thought to myself. I started panting because I was walking faster to come out of the forest and at the same time, I was looking back several times out of fear of the unknown animal that was gnashing bones. At times I could hold my breath using my hand due to heavy breathing. All this time, I was lifting my hands up asking God to send me an angel who would lead me out of the forest. After walking for about 40 minutes, I was losing hope.
I was fatigued and worn out. My feet were arching. I saw an opening ahead of me and on getting there, it was tarmacked road. I lifted both my hands up and shouted, “Praise be to Jesus! Thank you Jesus!” I immediately held my mouth using the palm of my hands on remembering that am still in the forest and not yet off the hook. After some time, private vehicles were plying from left or right direction but none stopped for me. They just passed me by, probably thinking am being used to trap them. I don’t blame them though! Later, my angel in the name of Nissan Matata came by and I stood right at the middle of the road. It stopped and the driver was angrily asked me if I wanted to kill myself. I told him that I was looking for help and upon showing him the rough road that I came by, he was shocked and told me that I indeed pray a living God. On our way, I asked the conductor where we were and he said that the road was headed to Gakoe, Thika. I asked for his phone and called my husband where I told him what has befell me.
I was dropped at the Gakoe roadblock where God sent me another angel in the name of Kuria Kengen. He stopped and asked me what I was doing there and I told him he had been sent by God. Apparently, Kuria was driving to Magumu to take back a car, which he had been given by a man who found him in an accident scene three days ago. The man gave him his vehicle and told him that he believes he will get back his car by Wednesday. So, Kuria wanted to take the car back to the owner in the morning but unfortunately, his wife called him saying she had been arrested in her car by traffic officers. So, Kuria had to sort out the mess first only to embark on his journey to return the car that afternoon and find me at the roadblock. I had borrowed an officer’s mobile phone and called a colleague Dennis Kabiru of Citizen tv and briefed him on what had happened to me. He promised to circulate the message so that the vehicle can be found. My colleagues Victor Kinuthia (Inooro FM) and George Konami (Kameme FM) moved with speed to circulate the message. At Gakoe police post, I was directed to Magumu police station with officers telling me that the theft dint happen within their area of jurisdiction.
One of them who looked like a senior was very annoying and never paid attention to my story. He rushed to conclusions that someone, probably a friend must have been behind my woes. One junior officer volunteered to stop vehicles on the road to lift me up. I was lifted in a white salon car and true to God’s promise, the couple with their children said are from Kangema and were travelling to Olkarau. On reaching Magumu area, Mama Gakenia asked her husband to assist me with bus fare that would enable be reach Murang’a. He dashed into an Mpesa shop and handed me over Sh.1,000 loose cash. I was very grateful and asked for their contacts which they wrote on a piece of paper. At Magumu police station, I was told that area is classified under Nyandarua County hence I had to go report at Kijabe police station.
A very hospitable officer at Magumu called Karuri narrated how he was stolen a brand new Toyota Premio KCF right outside Turskys Supermarket in Thika. He was in the company of his grand daughter who was lifted by the thugs from the co-drivers seat and thrown at the back. He counselled me and I really felt that I had met someone who really understood what I was going through. Thanks Karani. As he was talking to me, remember the angle God had sent at the Gakoe roadblock? Kuria! He joined me at the Magumu police station, This time with the elderly man who had given him his car and two of his sons! The old man lifted us to the main road where Kuria and I boarded a Matatu to Kijabe police station. Kuria called my husband who by this time was on his way to Kijabe, with his close friend Dr. Humphrey Gikonyo. They had passed through Kiambu for fear of what had happened to me along Kamae -Thika road.
We found very caring officers at the station. Led by Mr. Sugut, Mr. Mulinge and a lady whom I did not get her name, handled us professionaly until midnight when I finished recording all the statements and abstracts given. My colleagues from Nyandarua County Lydia Wairimu Mwangi and Mugo managed to get my husband’s contact and were keeping track of everything. Indeed, God sent me the angels I prayed for at the forest. From the station to the main road is quite a distance and we all fitted into Dr. Gikonyo’s car. Don’t ask me how many we were please. We dropped the officers at the main road where their boss Mr. Sugut was waiting and we proceeded to Nairobi then Murang’a. I fell deep asleep somewhere along the way. I was tired and exhausted. I had not eaten a thing coz I had vomited the mahindi Choma in the forest. We arrived Murang’a at around 3am. My first born son woke up gave me big hug! He was already aware that his mother had been kidnapped by armed robbers. He told me, “mummy, am glad to see and hug you.” I told him I was ok and thus he could get back to bed because tomorrow (Thursday) is school day.
I am writing this to tell of the glory of God! Triumph through prayer. Never cease to pray even if you feel that you are dead inside, just say a word to our God.
To the Armed robbers, I salute you for not hurting me. Yes, you took every material thing I had: My car and all my working tools, including my medical records but you spared my life. To the thief who was sited on my right hand side: you are the first angel that God sent across. You made the four hours of my kidnapping easy. You are truly a human being and for sure, you will see heaven because I know you will repent very soon. Thank you so much for being nice to me. To all my colleagues, presenters and anchors of different media houses, words alone can’t describe my gratitude, to my friends even on social media, you are a blessing and to the security officers, I was impressed by your service BUT please, investigate amongst yourselves who are the criminals. No thief would dress in police gear and risk stopping vehicles in the name of an officer. To date, I still believe that those who robbed from me are police officers but unfortunately, they had covered my face and i can’t identify none of them. To my beloved husband, thank you for unending support. I thank God that I am the one who was hijacked. They told me openly that majority of men are stubborn and resistant thus they kill them first. I know you. I know you would not have let go of your hard earned properties go just like that without putting up a fight. That is why God made sure you was not with me as usual that specific day. Indeed, he is God!
To my parents, and entire family, am very sorry for he mental torture.
To my God almighty, I thank-you for saving my life and putting the devil to shame. I will forever serve you my Lord Jesus!!