Family of missing Raila book author seeks answers

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By JUSTUS OCHIENG’
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The family of Newton Ochieng’ Ong’ele aka Babior, the author of a controversial book ‘The Raila Conspiracy’, which was to be launched last week, is seeking answers over his disappearance.

Mr Ochieng’s father, Dalmas Ong’ele said they are suspecting the disappearance could have been caused by the content of the book which he admits he hadn’t read yet.

Speaking at his home in Kaila, Seme Sub-County in Kisumu County on Tuesday, Mr Ong’ele said the last time he spoke to his son was on Sunday, June 25.

“We are calling on the police to locate his whereabouts. He calls us frequently and we have been suspicious over his continued silence since June 25. It is unfortunate that his cell phone has also remained off since that date,” Mr Ong’ele said.

He went on: “We also urge the Nasa Presidential candidate to help us locate our son. He was to launch a political book and we suspect that is the cause of his disappearance.”

Mr Odinga had on Tuesday morning asked the police to move with speed to unravel the truth about the missing author.

Speaking on Radio Maisha, Mr Odinga said: “The police have a responsibility to trace him and tell the public the truth on the matter.”

Mr Ong’ele recalled how he had declined to travel to Nairobi to attend the book launch following the demise of his 17-year-old daughter who is yet to be buried.

“My son had requested me to travel to Nairobi to witness the launch but I declined because of the funeral we have back here at home.

“He promised to travel after the launch but to date, we are yet to hear from him,” his father stated.

He expressed optimism that “my son would be found alive.”

“If he is in police custody there is need for the officers to inform us,” he said.

He pointed out that his son had expressed interest in politics after his Form Four studies in 2007 when he sat for his KCSE at Usenge High School in Siaya County.

“He was nicknamed Babior after Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) leader Dr John Garang de Mabior.”

Mr Ong’ele also disclosed that ‘The Raila Conspiracy’, was the second book authored by his son.

“He had high IQ (Intelligent quotient) to author books,” he said.

Mr Ong’ele said he was not aware of any assistance his son received in authoring the latest book.

Mr Ochieng’ disappeared on June 27, the day he was scheduled to officially launch his book at the KICC amphitheatre.

The event was to be presided over by Nasa presidential flag-bearer Raila Odinga and attended by Kenya School of Law CEO PLO Lumumba, publishing editor Barrack Muluka and University of Nairobi don and political analyst Herman Manyora.

His disappearance was recorded under OB number 18/3/7/17 at Ruaraka police station on Monday.

‘The Raila Conspiracy’ warns, among other things, that the statements made earlier by ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru that Al-Shabaab can interfere with the digital system of elections was a disclosure that there were plans to rig the August 8 General Election.

It alleges that the 2002 General Election, in which then President Mwai Kibaki was contesting against Uhuru Kenyatta, now President, was the only free and fair election ever held in Kenya.

Three weeks ago, the writer told the media that there was a conspiracy by the government machinery to block the sale of the book in Kenya before August 8.

He had said that the book, published by Magadashan Printers in India, was printed in April 2017 but the shipment was seized at the Mombasa port.

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