Sonko: I will transport bodies of Kighenda, her daughter to Makueni

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 17 Oct, 2019 19:08 | 2 mins read
Mike Sonko, who was arrested in Voi on Friday over graft allegations, was airlifted to Nairobi in a police chopper AugustaWestland. [PHOTO | FILE]
Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. PHOTO | FILE
Mike Sonko, who was arrested in Voi on Friday over graft allegations, was airlifted to Nairobi in a police chopper AugustaWestland. [PHOTO | FILE]

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko says he will -- through his Sonko Rescue Team outfit -- transport the bodies of Likoni tragedy victims, Mariam Kighenda and her daughter Amanda Mutheu, from Mombasa to Makueni on Friday.

A representative of Kighenda’s family, Luka Mbaati, told K24 Digital on Wednesday that the mother-and-daughter’s remains will be transported from Jocham mortuary in Mombasa on Friday night (October 18) ahead of the burial, which will take place at Ngaamba area in Kilome Constituency, Makueni County the following day, Saturday, October 19.

And now, Sonko says he has offered to transport the bodies at no cost to the family.

“We have agreed with those in charge of the burial arrangements to transport the bodies and play any other possible role in the burial arrangements,” Sonko said on Thursday.

The bodies of Kighenda and Mutheu were removed from the sea last Friday, October 11, after staying immersed in the Indian Ocean for 13 days.

Kighenda and Mutheu died after their vehicle, a Toyota Isis, slid off MV Harambee on the Likoni Ferry channel on September 29 and plunged 58 meters into the sea.

Mariam’s family said Wednesday that after burying their loved ones, they will sue the Kenya Ferry Services Limited for negligence.

“We are, currently, continuing with burial plans. Once we have laid our loved ones to rest, we will institute legal action against the Kenya Ferry Services Limited,” Mbaati told K24 Digital.

Thirty five-year-old Mariam Kighenda and her 4-year-old daughter, Amanda Mutheu, suffocated to death, autopsy results released Wednesday, October 16, showed.

The State’s chief pathologist, Dr. Johansen Oduor, told K24 Digital that the two died of asphyxia – a condition arising when the body is deprived of oxygen.

Asphyxia, simply known as suffocation, causes unconsciousness or death, Oduor said.

“I can confirm that Kighenda and Mutheu died as a result of lack of oxygen in their bodies. We’ll now hand over the report to police so that they can continue with their investigations,” the pathologist said Wednesday after overseeing the 1-hour and 30 minutes’ postmortem exercise at Jocham Hospital in Mombasa.

Oduor said the autopsy outcome showed that the mother-and-daughter “died around the same time.”

“None of them suffered any physical injury,” said Oduor.

The pathologist, however, said it was impossible for them to ascertain the time Kighenda and Mutheu remained alive under water before finally succumbing.

“We couldn’t establish that because the bodies had stayed immersed in the ocean for long,” said Oduor.

“The longer one remains immersed in water, the more difficult it is to get accurate results on how long one stayed alive before succumbing to asphyxia. Decomposition of the bodies had begun. However, it couldn’t be possible to tell when it exactly started because when one dies in a water body, the [decomposition] process is delayed,” said Oduor.

Likoni lead detective, Charles Onyango, told K24 Digital that they have commenced investigations into the death of the two.

“We are yet to question Kenya Ferry Services managing director, Bakari Gowa, in regard to the mother-and-daughter’s deaths. However, we have lined him up for interrogation,” said Onyango.

Following the Likoni tragedy that claimed the two lives, President Uhuru Kenyatta sacked the Kenya Ferry Services Limited chairperson Dan Mwazo.

In a Wednesday, October 16, Gazette Notice Number 9833, the Head of State said Mwazo was dismissed with immediate effect.

Also fired, were other non-executive board members of the Kenya Ferry Services Limited. They include: Naima Amir, Philip Ndolo, Rosina Mruttu and Daula Omar.