Caroline Mwatha: Gallant human rights defender missing

REPORT

Caroline Mwatha is a gallant human rights defender. She is one of the courageous few who came up and started the Dandora Community Justice Centre (DCJC) whose flagship project is documenting cases of extrajudicial killings in the area.

Caroline is missing. She was last seen on Wednesday at around 3 pm by her friend while entering her home in Dandora Phase 1. Another friend said she tried to call her at around 6 pm but she did not pick her call.

Caroline Mwatha of Dandora Justice Center

DCJC Administrator James Alama told Missing Voices that he last met Caroline on Tuesday after a data collection exercise. James says Caroline never came to the centre on Wednesday.

“I started calling her on Thursday morning because I needed to compile the data she had collected, but her phone was off,” James said.

James decided to send one of her colleagues to check if she was at her home. The colleague only found her nine-year-old child alone at home. Caroline’s daughter told him she last saw her mother on Wednesday morning when she dropped her to school.

In an area where crime is high, enforced disappearance is rampant and extrajudicial killings is the norm, his family and colleagues at the Justice Centre are a worried lot. They launched a campaign on social media #FindCarolineMwatha on Saturday but they are yet to find her.

On Saturday her family and members of DCJC did rounds in all hospitals and morgues within the city with no success. Four days later there is no trace of Caroline, her phone still remains switched off.

AFC Leopards fan show a poster of Caroline Mwatha during the Mashemeji derby at Kasarani stadium on Saturday

Her family reported the disappearance at Buru Buru Police Station under OB 65/08/02/19 on Friday. On Sunday morning they recorded statements at the station to launch official investigations into the matter.

Caroline father with DCJC Administrator James Alama address journalists in Dandora on Saturday.

“We do not know whether the disappearance is personal or related to her work. By the end of the day we may have a clue,” James said.

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