Oct 3, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

‘I am sorry’… Last words of Naivasha crash driver before he succumbed

“Poleni” (I’m sorry) were the last words uttered by the driver of the ill-fated bus that collided with a sand truck on the Maai Mahiu-Narok road before he was admitted to the Naivasha Subdistrict Referral Hospital last breath did on Saturday.

And yesterday it was an emotional Mass interwoven with lost faces at the Catholic Church of St. Elizabeth in Kongoni, Parish of St. Anthony in Naivasha

The church has lost six of its members among the nine dead in a traffic accident on the Maai Mahiu-Narok road. The three-hour service, led by Bishop David Kamau, lacked the usual Sunday service flair.

The gloom coupled with the overcast weather was evident among the parishioners who attended and were ready for Mass to express their condolences to the bereaved

A worldwide encouragement from the presiding bishop would lift sorrowful souls for a moment, but the magnitude of the losses was telling.

Those who died , held a special place in the church, and their absence was conspicuous during mass in the open ground.

Father Jude Kariuki, who attended the funeral ceremony in Kisii, openly related how the events of the day.

“I was the first to leave the church tomb at around 5:00 p.m. and inside I had a feeling it was getting late. The ceremony lasted longer than I expected, so I decided “To go,” he recalled traveling back with her, but she declined, saying she wanted to travel back by minibus.

Unfortunately, as among the nine victims who died in the overnight accident, said Father Kariuki.

Among those who attended the Mass was 47-year-old Hezron Odari, who lost his 22-year-old son, Ayub Odari.

He was scheduled to travel to Kisii , to pay last respects to a friend he had known for so many years, but fell ill on the eve of the trip.

“My son offered to represent me, but as fate would have it, was he among those who died. We spoke last before he left for the funeral,” said Mr. Odari.

He occasionally stared blankly at the weight of losing his beloved son. “I had him to Certainty conferred my future, but now he is gone.” He said in a pained tone.

Raphael Okon’go, sitting alone and lost in a trance, lost his 70-year-old mother, Elimelita Mocheche, in a traffic accident. He has yet to come to terms with the sudden demise.

“She was my mentor…my role model and motivator. I looked up to her for advice,” the grieving son said.

Before the trip, his mother called him and said she needed to see him, but the two kept postponing their meeting because of her close engagements.

“She died without revealing what she wanted. I can understand what she really wanted to tell me, but after I died instantly in the crash, I’ll never know what she was thinking,” said a distraught Mr. Okon’go.

To Samuel Kanyeki, who lost his wife Susan Kanyeki, his intuition saved their only daughter at the age of one. “She wanted to go with our lastborn daughter, but I had a feeling the journey was going to be hectic for the little one,” he said, fighting back tears after marrying her traditionally in 1996. The joyful occasion has turned to fear. Mr. Kanyeki has yet to come to terms with the loss of his spouse.

“She ran a boutique in the Kongoni Trade Center where she supplemented the family income. Her death is a heavy blow,” said Mr. Kanyeki.

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David Kamau lost his cousin Alex Mbugua, a Boda Boda operator, in the accident. The two hadn’t spoken to each other for a while and he didn’t know he had travelled.

“I was informed by his friend that he had travelled, and when I went to the morgue my worst fears became reality confirmed,” he said.

One survivor, Michael Ouma, attributed his miraculous escape to God: “I cannot say how the accident happened. Most of us in the vehicle were dazed and were struck by the Woke up after impact,” he said.

H He suffered bruises on his face and a deep cut on his right leg, and limped while walking. After services, curious churchgoers crowded around him, eager to learn firsthand what happened.

The church will hold a joint funeral preparation ceremony, with a committee being formed to lead the process.

In Kongoni, darkness hung over the sleepy center of commerce. Most shops were closed, small groups quietly discussing on the sidelines.

They were yet to come to terms with the tragedy. Those who died included Ayub Ondari, Maureen Nekesa, Irene Mueni, Imelda Mocheche, Teresiah Gichuru, Susan Wanjiru, Alex Mbugua, Augustine Okelo, and Lydia Ondari.