NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 18 – Four police officers who perished on June 10 alongside Internal Security Minister George Saitoti and his deputy Orwa Ojode have been eulogised as dedicated officers who died in the line of duty.
Speaking at a requiem mass at the Holy Family Basilica on Monday, family members of the late Capt Nancy Gituanja, Capt Luke Oyugi, Inspector Joshua Tonkei and Sergeant Thomas Murimi said their death had robbed them and the country of great people.
“In her 13 years of duty in the Kenya Police Service, she discharged her responsibilities with dedication and commitment. She was an experienced and qualified pilot who commanded respect from colleagues and friends,” Mary Wanjiru said of her sister Capt Gituanja.
Martin Ole Kamwaro told the mourners that Inspector Tonkei seemed to have had a premonition of death.
“It took the family members by surprise; he told them I have done my best to serve my country as a committed and dedicated police officer. The family members could not comprehend the meaning of these prophetic words, it was beyond their human understanding and it’s only on that dark Sunday that it became a reality,” he said.
Provincial Administration Assistant Minister Simeon Lesrima said the government has set aside Sh15 million for the affected families.
“The government did meet all the costs for the funeral services. The monies that I am mentioning here, Sh15.1 million will go towards the education of the children,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Special Programmes is putting in place plans to establish a special fund to assist the families of police officers who die while in the line of duty.
Special Programmes Minister Esther Murugi said a Cabinet Memorandum is to be presented to the Cabinet next week.
“What we found out is that after the funeral they (families of fallen officers) are left alone and may not be able to cope,” she said.
She is calling on her fellow legislators to support the initiative as a reward of the patriotism of the four officers.
Her sentiments were backed by Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka who said the government will ensure that the children of the bereaved families continue with their education.
Musyoka read President Mwai Kibaki’s condolence message at the service.
“It is with a heavy heart that I send this condolence message to the bereaved families,” he said.
Sergeant Murimi who was Saitoti’s bodyguard will be buried on Tuesday in Nyankore village, Kuria. He leaves behind widow Leah Nchawa and two sons Nicholas and Maurice.
Captain Gituanja will be laid to rest on Tuesday in Kiiri Village, Kandara, Murang’a. She leaves behind widower Peter Gitau, two daughters Sharon, Diana and son Wesley.
Inspector Tonkei who was Saitoti’s bodyguard will be laid to rest Wednesday at his farm in Nkorokolani, Olukurto, in Narok. He is survived by widow Rebecca, three sons Robert, Kevin, Derrick and daughter Cynthia.
Cap Oyugi will be laid to rest Thursday in Banana Village, Siaya County. He is survived by widow Patricia, daughters Cynthia and Kimberly and two sons Fidel and Camel.