470 children disappear after being arrested

The children were arrested during a swoop in May.

A view of a street in Nairobi's Eastleigh area.

Mystery surrounds the fate of 470 street children who were arrested in Nairobi County last month as their whereabouts are now unknown.

The children were supposed to be vetted by police officers and returned to care homes across the country.

Nairobi county police commander Japheth Koome stated that the children and a few adults had been locked across different police stations in Nairobi.

“Their numbers have been increasing and they have been mugging and harassing people on the streets,” Mr Koome said.

Nairobi County officers have now denied that they were involved in the swoop.

“That is an exercise that I do not know about and I only got to hear about it in the media,” Ms Anne Lokidor, the Nairobi County executive in charge of Education, Youth, Sports and Social Services told the Nation.

The Nairobi’s rehabilitation centres of Shauri Moyo, Joseph Kang’ethe, Kayole and Bahati reported that there were no children who arrived there.

According to a report by the Nation, Nairobi sub-county children services officer Mary Maina said 10 of the children taken to the county court on that day who were under 18 were housed at Bahati rehab centre.

The centre’s manager, Mr Isaiah Mutundu, however, denied this, saying the last time he received a new lot of street children from the City Hall Court was on May 2.

Meanwhile, Nairobi Central OCPD Robert Thuku said the arrested children were taken to Dandora and Ruiru after they told police they came from there.

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