A taskforce has been set up in Kenya to search for Awakhiwe Ackim Ncube, the seven-year-old boy who was kidnapped in Zimbabwe four years ago and placed in a children’s home after he was rescued in Kenya.
Awakhiwe was abducted while he was playing with other children at his grandfather’s homestead. He was found at the Kenyan border and was taken to Happy Children’s Home after the authorities in Kenya had failed to locate his parents.
The taskforce is led by the Children’s Services in Kenya and it will search for Awakhiwe in all children’s homes in Kenya after authorities did not find him at Happy Children’s Home, where he was said to be.
According to the authorities in Kenya it is a challenge to locate abused children as they can have their names changed for their protection when they are found and most of the children forget their names as they are rescued when they are very young.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said it was difficult to locate the child as the mother, Nobekezelo Maseko, had not provided them with the name and phone number of the Kenyan woman she talked to.
“The Kenya Children’s Services has formed a committee which is already on the ground investigating on the whereabouts of the kid.
“It is a challenging task because we have not yet found the lady whom the parents had contacted, if we manage to get her contacts it will be a conclusion of the matter,” said IOM representative, Tsetse Mkhonto.
She also stated that they informed the Ministry of Social Welfare and it was also investigating the issue.
Meanwhile, Maseko revealed that the Criminal Investigation Department invited her for an interview as part of their investigations to find her son.
“They wanted to know whether I have a passport or not and I would be able to go and take my son when he is found and I told them that I have nothing. I am now losing hope again after it was restored,” she said.