A man who was arrested on March 6 in Mandera while asking for directions to Somalia has been released.
Mr Backstone Agaro, 53, had been arrested after alighting from a bus in Mandera town at about 10 pm. Authorities suspected that he was a spy for the Al-Shabaab terror group.
But in a letter to a Mandera court, Mr Francis Lemusi, the head of the Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) Mandera office, said Mr Agaro has no links to any terror cell.
Police explained that Mr Agaro was only inquiring about the border to Somalia as it was his first time to Mandera and he got confused after passing a signpost marked Mandera County.
“He only wanted to know if he had arrived to his destination in Mandera since he saw a signpost,” Mr Lemusi said in his letter to the court.
Investigations conducted in two days as ordered by the court last week show that Mr Agaro could be suffering from depression after he sold all his property and gave the proceeds to a church.
“His family members in Nairobi recorded statements at ATPU headquarters indicating that the respondent was a member of the Ministry of Holiness and Repentance where he gave all his investments,” said State counsel Mr Kennedy Amwayi.
The Ministry of Holiness and Repentance is led by the controversial “Prophet” David Owuor who in recent times has come under fire for allegedly brainwashing a wealthy Nairobi-based lawyer and taking her property.
Relatives of Mr Agaro confirmed he is a member of Prophet Owuor’s church to Nation.co.ke.
“Mr Agaro is my uncle and it is true he has been attending Bishop Owour’s church but his behaviour has surprised us,” said Mr Kennedy Agavishi Mulombe by phone.
The family member said his uncle would take all his daily earnings from his carpentry shop to the church and that he rarely eats or talks to anybody.
“He travels a lot on grounds that he has been sent by God to go and preach but he ends up seated lonely in many of the towns he travels to. Police at Bahati helped us take him to Mathari Hospital (Nairobi) but health workers were on strike and we returned home,” said Mr Mulombe.
But Mr Agaro, who told the Nation that he joined Owuor’s church in 1994, denied that he sold his property in order to give money to the church.
“I dropped out of school in Standard Five and my late brother left me a workshop in Mbotela, Nairobi. I also have several shanties which I rent at Sh3,500 monthly. I have sold nothing to give to the church,” Mr Agaro was quoted as saying.