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Debunked: Why Mwenda Mbijiwe Left WhatsApp Groups

The former officer is yet to be found in a search mission that has stretched to nearly four months.

Reports went viral on Friday, October 14 that former Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) commander Mwenda Mbijiwe, who went missing on Saturday, June 12 left all WhatsApp groups he was in.

The former officer is yet to be found in a search mission that has stretched to nearly four months.

A screenshot was shared widely on social media and intercepted by our digital correspondent at Viral Tea, indicating that Mbijiwe had left a number of WhatsApp groups including one by his class of 2015, the year he graduated from the University of Nairobi.

“Mwenda Mbijiwe was my classmate at UoN. He went missing a couple of months ago. We’re shocked in our group that HE HAS JUST LEFT the WhatsApp group!” media personality Syombua Osiany revealed.

Mwenda Mbijiwe during a past address. /STANDARD DIGITAL

However, spot checks by our correspondent revealed that he was removed from his group automatically due to being inactive on the platform for three months.

“WhatsApp automatically removes you from all groups if you’re inactive for 3 months and deactivate your account after 4 months,” the correspondent stated.

WhatsApp terms of use explain that to maintain security, limit data retention, and protect the privacy of their users, accounts are generally deleted after 120 days of inactivity, in this scenario, not using WhatsApp.

Mbijiwe is a popular TV expert and consultant who specialises in security matters. The former Kenya Air Force’s Air Defence Control Unit commander has however had a few clashes with law enforcements.

In June 2019, he was arraigned in court after being charged with fraud. Mbijiwe was accused of falsely acquiring Ksh150,000 from a man after convincing him that he had links and networks from the United Nations.

His case has continued to puzzle authorities after Matthew Muhatia Namasaka, his driver, also vanished.

Muhatia’s family disclosed that the 49-year-old from Kitale had disappeared on the same day as Mbijiwe, but it remains a mystery of whether the two had vanished in similar circumstances. The two were very close friends to the point that they spent a night together at Muhatia’s home in Kawangware and his upcountry home in Kitale in December 2020.

The day before both men went missing, Mbijiwe had visited Muhatia at his Kawangware home and spent an hour talking to the 49-year-old driver. The next day, Muhatia left his home in a hired Toyota Fielder at 5 am on grounds of attending to an urgent call from Mbjiwe at around 4.45 am.

He left wearing a checked blue shirt with a matching pair of trousers and had declined to explain to his wife, Cynthia Salome Watai, the purpose of the early morning assignment. He however promised to return in the evening.

At around 11 am, Muhatia called his wife, who heard Mbijiwe’s voice in the background. He assured her that they were okay and sent her money for supper.

Muhatia never made it back home, prompting Salome to file a missing person’s report on Friday, June 18 at Muthangari Police Station. The Toyota Fielder Muhatia was driving was later found abandoned along Mai Mahiu road.

Cynthia Salome Watai, Mathew Muhatia’s wife in an interview with the Standard. /STANDARD DIGITAL

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Marvin Chege
About author: Digital journalist and managing director with a passion for writing captivating stories. Marvin is a young scribe, a social media, sports, gaming junkie and realist who specialises in viral news, multimedia and investigative storytelling.

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