Richard Baraza Wakachala from Kitale in northwest Kenya allegedly travelled from his home town on Oct. 8, arriving in Mandera town two days later.
Baraza who told the court that he performed well in his education searched for a job in several area secondary schools including Khadija Girls, Alliance and Tawfiq within Mandera town where he was promised to return next year when the position will be available.
He stunned the court after he said he walked to Somalia for four days sleeping in the bushes, wanting to be killed by the Al-Shabaab due to frustrations of not securing a place in the university.
The defendant who was accused of two counts of travelling to a terrorist designated country (Somalia) without passing designated immigration exit point contrary to the law and failure to report departure was handed over to the Kenya security agents by the Bulla Hawa district administrators in Somalia.
The court heard that Kenyan multi-security agents decided to hand him over to the Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) in Mandera.
Baraza was also found to be in possession of the Hourmould mobile network sim card operating in Somalia and Equitel line and that the prosecution had analyzed the two sim cards, though no details of their contents was adduced before court.
The prosecution led by senior counsel Allen Mulama told the court that the charges facing the accused were serious after the government listed Somalia as a terrorist designated country.
Mandera Resident Magistrate Duncan Mtai said he had considered the mitigation plea by the accused and the admissions made by the prosecution.
“The accused by his own admission not only harbored the intention of joining the Al Shabaab but also attempted to actualize his intensions by travelling inside Somalia,” he said.
Mtai said the accused has admitted that he wanted to die within the hands of Al-Shabaab and thus his conduct demonstrates that he is not only dangerous to himself but also to the Kenyan national security and by extension to lives and property of Kenyans,”
“To protect our national security and deter the youth from harboring intensions such as the accused herein, I hereby sentence him to serve ten years imprisonment in jail and has a right to appeal against the ruling within fourteen days,” the magistrate ruled.
Several Kenyan youth have crossed the porous border and joined the Al-Shabab terrorist group. Enditem