NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 20 – Mary Akinyi, a mother of five, sits in her house in Maringo estate, Nairobi, pensive and wondering how she will bury the charred remains of her first-born son who was recently delivered to her in the back of a car.
Allan Otieno died on March 15 when armed people attacked him and his three colleagues in Mandera. The others – Christopher Okonya, Kevin Ochieng and Wilberforce Odhiambo – were critically injured. The three were transported by road for specialized treatment in Nairobi and in the same car was Otieno’s body.
“He used to work in a car garage in Mwatate but he moved to Mandera because there was more money…he had promised me that he will build a house for the family once he saves enough,” the remorseful Akinyi recalled.
The mother of five is now urging the government to help her foot the burial expenses including transport to their rural home in Nyando, Kisumu County.
“I do not know what to do now with the death of my son…the challenges are just too much,” a teary Akinyi said.
After she calms down from a sudden fit of sobbing, she asks; “Why do they kill innocent Kenyans?”
Akinyi, a widow since 2006 when her husband passed on told Capital News that her efforts to seek help from various Government officials are yet to bear fruits.
Other than burial bills, Akinyi fears that her family may even be evicted from her one bedroom County Government house in Maringo estate.
Otieno, who has left behind a widow and a 2-year-old child has been paying her Sh1, 200 monthly rent.
“He was a hardworking Kenyan who only wanted to earn a living… he was also the one paying for his daughter’s fees at the baby school,” the vegetable vendor said.
Though she did not reveal the content of a conversation they had with her son the morning of the fateful day, Akinyi recalls that her son, “was energetic when we spoke.”
“When I called him in the evening at around 8pm he did not pick and I thought he was either engaged or in the bathroom…I called his phone until 11pm.”
She only knew her son had died the following morning.
Though the unknown assailants had snatched the life of her son, Akinyi says he has forgiven them and prays, “that they may change their character. They should not kill people.”
Her Neighbours who have been consoling her have challenged the Government to meet the funeral expenses since the deceased died as a result of a terror attack.
“The Government assured Kenyans that the area was peaceful but still this happened….they should take responsibility and help this family,” One of the neighbours Onyango Ogutu said.
“Even if it’s only one person who died during the attack, the Government should not ignore them…the woman is suffering.”
Police have since impounded several taxi vehicles operating in Mandera Town and arrested one suspect believed to be the owner of the vehicle used by the attackers to escape after the incident.