A family in Njoro Sub-county, Nakuru County is living in devastation after their son who once served in the KDF became mentally ill after a mission in Somalia.
According to a report done by The Standard, the family divulged that their son, John Njoroge, was one of the soldiers who survived the January 27, 2917 attack by Al Shabaab at Kulbiyow Camp which claimed the lives of 68 of his colleagues.
However, despite experiencing the joy of having their son alive, they have had to deal with the trauma that came with him being a survivor.
His father, Peter Mwangi, states that following the attack, the family noticed a change in his behavior, which had gradually worsened with time.
Mwangi noted: “He was well until after that attack. When he came back home from the deployment, we started noticing a change in behavior. He would fight with anyone, including me, and later apologize.”
Following his deployment from Somalia, he is reported to have returned to the military and was posted to the 20th Parachute Battalion based at Kenyatta Barracks in Gilgil.
His father further narrates that in October 2018, Njoroge went back home and told the family that he had been granted a 3-month leave and would resume work in January.
His return home, Mr Mwangi notes, revealed to his kin that he indeed was struggling with a deeper issue that just rage.
“When he arrived home he was calm. The next morning, he broke 12 glass windows of a house he built for us. He threatened to kill his wife with whom he had one child. His wife left with the child,” the father noted.
The family alleged that the matter was reported to the Njoro Police Station, where it was referred to Military Police Officers who are reported to have picked Njoroge from his home.
At the time, the Military promised to take him to Defence Forces Memorial Hospital, only for the family to be informed later that Njoroge had been transferred to Embakasi Barracks.
According to the mother, she mentions that she thought her son’s transfer meant that his health had improved, only for a friend to spot Njoroge wandering in the streets of Nairobi, seemingly confused and lost, wearing only one shoe.
However, when The Standard contacted KDF about Njoroge’s plight, they were informed that Njoroge’s contract with the military was terminated before his condition worsened.
In a letter drafted by the Department of Defense (DoD) to the publication, it noted in part, “Second Lieutenant (Rtd) John Njoroge Mwangi is no longer serving in the Kenya Defence Forces. His commission was terminated in August 2018, on disciplinary grounds. During his time in service, he did not exhibit any signs of psychological disturbance.”
The DoD further noted that there were no plans to help Njoroge since he was no longer a member of KDF.
The family is currently left to care for a son, whom according to them suffered while in line of duty and was allegedly abandoned by the KDF.