Suggestions have repeatedly been made for Mariam Kighenda’s husband, John Wambua, to use witchcraft to appease ancestors as an alternative way to help in retrieval of his wife and daughter’s bodies.
But Wambua has rejected the suggestions, saying his wife was a staunch Christian and and that he will stick to their faith.
“I am a staunch Christian and my wife was also a staunch Christian, so we cannot go that way,” said Wambua.
Hopes of recovering bodies of Kighenda and her daughter, Amanda Mutheu, who drowned at the Likoni Ferry channel a week ago continued to dim even as multi-agency teams led by Kenya Navy deployed more sophisticated underwater equipment to help in the search.
Signs of despair were palpable on family members as well as government officials involved in the operation despite divers from South Africa joining the retrieval mission.
The media was kept at bay from the scene after the military condoned off the search area.
However, family spokesman Luka Mbati said they have high hopes the bodies will be found following deployment of more experts and advanced equipment.
“We are still hopeful that bodies will be found and they will be given to us for burial. This is all we pray for so as to have closure,” said Mbati.
South African divers hired by the family spent the day deploying their in the search zone.
The family has been holding prayers at the Mbaraki Wharf.
This comes even as unconfirmed reports indicated on Tuesday that government was contemplating calling off the exercise officially by Wednesday.
Those familiar with such underwater operations said chances of recovering the bodies intact by now could be almost zero.
“Human body can only stay intact in the ocean for three days, beyond that it swells and decomposes,” said Abubakar Ali, a diver.
As the search entered day nine on Tuesday, the operation still appeared slow.
Around six motorboats patrolled the waters, occasionally immersing robotic cameras in almost the same way they had done since the start of the search operation on Monday last week.
For the better part of Tuesday, the search operation commander Lawrence Gituma and Kenya Ferry Service Chaiman Dan Mwazo, who since Monday were left to handle official communication, said they were not ready to address the media.
And opposition leader Raila Odinga’s order to have dredging works nearby stopped has been ignored.