Corporal Robert Omwola, attached to the Director of Investigations (DCI) Anti Terror Police Unit, recounts how he almost paid the ultimate price when terrorists they had arrested with his colleagues at Likoni, Mombasa, hurled grenades at them.
Unfortunately, one of Omwola’s colleagues from the General Service Unit died in the attack, while Omwola suffered chest and head injuries.
A DCI magazine released on Tuesday, May 11, the cop has shrapnel still stuck on the right side of his lungs and shoulder to date.
He says doctors told him that he would have to live with the metals lodged in his body because he would not survive it if they were removed.
It all happened on November 28, 2002, when Al Shabaab targeted an Israeli-owned paradise hotel in Kikambala and a plane owned by Arkia Airlines as it took off from Moi International Airport.
Omwola remembers that, on that fateful day, vehicles loaded with explosives exploded, killing 13 people and leaving 80 others with serious injuries.
This attack and many more that occurred in the coastal region cost Corporal Omwola his scars.
Omwola has spent most of his times fighting for his life in hospitals on a wheelchair, crutches or grounded in his house since 2012.
“Every day, I wake up feeling much better than the previous day. The lord has been working miracles in my life. The grenade attacks completely transformed my life,” he states in DCI magazine.
The explosion from the first explosion ripped his chest, with the second one disfiguring his face.
In 2012, he received a call from his boss informing him that he needed to arrest a group of terrorist in a security operation.
“I had spent the whole day doing office work and never had time for lunch. At 4 pm, I informed my boss I was going home, hoping to have a meal there,” Omwola recalls.
However, before he could remove his key from his pocket, the boss told him he was needed at the scene to join a group of officers from recce and ATPU who had travelled from Nairobi for an operation.
Omwola was required to go to the Chaani chief’s office in Changamwe to meet his colleagues.
The officer added that he was only armed with a pistol and handcuff for the operation.