A family in Nyeri County has unsuccessfully been searching for 50 years for a woman they said eloped with former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.
Around 1954, Amin was a police constable at Kiamachimbi Police Post (now a police station) in Mathira after returning from World War II. He befriended a young Wamuyu wa Murage and when he moved from the area, he eloped with her.
Over 50 years later, her whereabouts are still unknown and none of the family members have ever heard from her. She was the last born in a family of six.
Duncan Kaguithia, 72, says Wamuyu who was his aunt got attracted to Amin and her family reluctantly accepted the relationship.
“This was during the State of Emergency and police officers were feared. We don’t know whether it was out of love or fear or both that made our aunt follow Amin,” says Kaguithia.
Kaguithia says he was a young boy and the family had no means to track her or any photographs of her to help in the search.
“Illiteracy and fear of authorities hindered the family from asking questions. We didn’t have anybody to guide us and today, her two sisters who are alive have no clear memory of her,” he says.
When Amin became president in the 1970s, the family hoped that they would spot her with him in public events, but that was never the case.
Kaguithia who served as an assistant chief for Kaiyaba village says they visited hospitals and would even stop people on the streets to ask their names and backgrounds.
“It was a hard task. In the 1970s when I lived in Mombasa, I used to stop strangers and ask them about their background. We were determined to find her. We had pursued one case of a mentally sick woman only to learn about her relatives in Karatina,” says Kaguithia.
He says her parents and sisters died heartbroken.
“We can’t tell whether she is alive or dead. We just don’t know what happened to her. It hurts us a lot,” says Kaguithia