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Missing MPs: Interior CS Kindiki gives update on search & rescue mission

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki speaks as search and rescue mission intensifies

File image of Interior CS Prof. Kithure Kindiki and his Transport counterpart, Kipchumba Murkomen addressing the press on December 20, 2022

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki has issued an update on the mission to rescue missing Garsen MP Ali Wario Guyo and Galole MP Hiribae Said Buya, along with their team.

The MPs and their aides were reported missing after their motorboat failed to return from a food distribution exercise in Tana Delta Sub-County in Tana River county on Saturday, December 2, 2023.

According to CS Kindiki, security agencies have established contact with a passenger in the missing boat.

"All the eighteen passengers and crew are so far safe but are stranded at a yet to be established location. A multi agency search & rescue mission spearheaded by the Kenya Coast Guard is underway overnight," the CS said.

The two legislators, along with their team including Kinakomba MCA Hamid Babusa, Garsen North MCA Semi Dumba and nominated counterpart Haoddo, departed from Garsen Town to distribute food aid to flood victims in remote areas of the sub-county.

The motorboat had not returned by 7:000 p.m. when another team on a different boat touched base at Garsen.

Tana Delta OCPD Salim Fundi confirmed the reports, adding that a search team was dispatched.

According to the Kenya Red Cross Regional Coordinator, Hassan Musa, the group of about 18 people, including some Members of the County Assembly, chose to take a shortcut to Garsen, in the process parting ways with the flanking team.

It is suspected that the shortcut may have led the team into rough waters or an unfamiliar tributary. A rescue boat was been dispatched to search for the occupants of the missing motorboat.

The MPs and their aides are stranded in the middle of the waters of the Tana River and are now appealing for help. Video footage shared by journalist Lizah Mutuku on her X platform captured the MPs appealing for emergency help as of 10:30 pm on Saturday.

“We are lost we are in the middle of nowhere. Today we were on a rescue mission in Mnazini area and as we were going back we got lost in the river. So we are in the middle of the waters..., we don't know the directions. We do not know where we are now,” said Wario.

Rescue teams are actively searching for the missing boat and its occupants, but the operation is facing challenges due to adverse weather conditions.

The disappearance of the two MPs has sparked widespread concern among Tana Delta County residents.

The authorities, led by the Kenya Coast Guard, are now working tirelessly to locate the stranded boat and bring everyone back safely.

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