THE family of the missing hiker, Zayd Dada has said relinquishing rescue efforts to the government and chiefs, who are conducting rituals on Mt Nyangani, was a difficult decision to make.
BY PHYLLIS MBANJE
In a statement issued by Zayd’s uncle Azhar Khan on Friday, the family said suspending rescue efforts had been hard on them especially Zayd’s wife Neelam, his mother, his sister Shayda and some nephews.
“It has been the hardest decision that we have taken as a family as it defies all logic for search and rescue efforts,” said Khan. “We have decided that the best course of action right now would be to allow the government and the authorities, all the four chiefs of the mountain to perform their rituals to bring Zayd home.”
Khan said their religion gave precedence to the owners of the land.
“Islam gives rights to the traditional owners of the land, and we are duty bound by our religion to respect the rightful owners of the land if we choose to live in their environment,” said Khan.
“So please do not judge us if we appear to be, from your point of view, going against our faith. We choose in our faith to leave no boat empty and no stone unturned in finding a way to ‘Bring Zayd Home’.”
Khan also said they were putting their trust in the rites as they had been assured that Zayd would be found.
“They have asked us to put our trust in them as they navigate a terrain that belongs to them, and have offered a 98% chance of his return if we follow their lead. A statistic even the skeptics amongst our family could not ignore,” he said.
The search teams, that had combed 75% of the mountain but did not find a trace of Zayd, have suggested that the hiker might not be on the mountain.
Zayd has been missing for three weeks now.