“My son along with other youths from the community were given religious preaching and counseling by a radical imam. At first, I was happy. His prayers were on time and he attended the mosque preaching every day. Then I started to notice a change in my son’s behavior. He was withdrawn and he became extremely disrespectful. He was angry all the time.
I was informed by community members my son traveled to Somalia. I did not hear anything about my son for 2 years. It was a very painful period as he also left behind a wife and two daughters. I suffered as the anti-terror police unit frequently stormed my house, they arrested me on several occasion to ask me questions about my son. I was informed my son escaped from Somalia, surrendered to the Kenya Defense Force (KDF) and was taken to interrogation. Afterward, my son was released and warned to never return to Majengo.
The imam was very angry my son escaped and surrendered to the Kenyan Government. He feared the group’s “highly classified” information was now out in the open. They declared my son a traitor and that he should die a torturous death. One fateful day, my son was at a barbershop in Majengo. Two men approached him; one pointed a gun at his head. He was shot and killed on spot. The community said the imam sent people to kill him, and the imam has been in hiding ever since. I will never forget that day.
The social healing Kumekucha sessions supported me to speak about my pain and trauma without fear of stigmatization.”
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