From our Special Correspondent Massimo A. Alberizzi
Malindi, 31st august 2019
The parade of witnesses, about thirty in total, began at the trial for the abduction of Silvia Romano. There are two processes-Moses Luari Chende, a Kenyan giriama, the ethnic group that lives on the country’s coast, and Abdulla Gababa Wari, also from Kenya, but of the original tribe (the one accused of having organized the kidnapping) of Somalian. A third accused of taking part in the kidnapping, Ibrahim Adan Omar, will be judged separately in a different case. According to investigators, he was captured far from Chakama, near Garissa, during another police operation, and found in possession of firearms. His trial will begin on August 19th.
Yesterday’s hearing was held in Swahili, difficult to follow, despite interpreters set to work by Africa ExPress and Fatto Quotidiano. The two suspects were present: Abdulla Gababa Wari, he came from the prison where he is imprisoned, and Moses Luari Chende, who arrived, finished the trial walked away. According to the documents available, he was arrested immediately after Silvia’s kidnapping on November 20 last year, but was immediately released after paying a large bail: three million shillings, the equivalent of 25 thousand euros. A huge figure in these parts, particularly economically depressed, where the average salary is close to a thousand euros a year.
Kenyan journalists present at the trial wondered how Moses could have collected that mountain of money. A question that suggests that there is someone rich and perhaps important behind the labor that carried out the kidnapping. Someone who ordered the kidnapping and now pays the bail, but who could also silence him forever. Yesterday in the courtroom witnesses were shown, including McDonald Mwaringa, the village chief of Chakama, where Silvia worked and was kidnapped, two motorcycles. They are the ones with whom the bandits arrived and with whom they should have left with the girl. However, someone yesterday stated instead that the hostage was taken away by shoulder.
The prosecution is entrusted to a woman, Alice Mathangani, who pressed witnesses with precise and pertinent questions. Even the judge, Mrs. Dr. Julie Oseko, seemed satisfied, while Moses’ lawyer, Tonia Mwania, a very elegant well dressed lady with a pair of delicate heeled shoes, seemed rather annoyed. At my request to speak with his client, the lawyer agreed, but at the first question he cut off the brief questioning- “To whom did you deliver Silvia?”. He told him not to answer.
The courtroom where the hearing took place was full of people. But there were only two whites: besides me, the RAI correspondent, Enzo Nucci. We would have expected to see even some Italian diplomats or some of the ROS carabinieri, or maybe one of the secret service men. None of this. It would have been interesting for them to be able to understand if behind this case of anomalous seizure there are hidden interests different from those of justice.
Finally, it seems that Kenyan investigators have finally seriously engaged in the matter. This is only because they need the collaboration of the Italians to reveal the case of corruption that is disturbing the policy of the former British colony, that of the three dams that the CMC of Ravenna should have built. For now – according to the accusations -the company was able to make 600 million dollars disappear. Yesterday the judges of Nairobi issued an arrest warrant against Paolo Porcelli, managing director of the CMC. A signal that in return the Kenyans are ready to hand over Silvia’s kidnappers to Italian justice?
Massimo A. Alberizzi
with contribution of Hillary Duenas firstname.lastname@example.org