Police to probe death of children, grandmother

Monday December 12 2016

Challani residents

Challani residents on December 11, 2016 look over the damage on a house caused by fire. Six people died in the inferno. PHOTO | KAZUNGU SAMUEL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Police will investigate the death of six family members who died in a house fire Saturday night.

Villagers said the house caught fire late in the night killing Sidi Mweni, 58, and her five grandchildren in Challani village, Kaloleni sub-county in Kilifi.

The children were: twins Pauline and Nancy Kelvin aged one and half years, Baraka Kalume, 8, and his sister Furaha Kalume, 6, and Ibra Mweni.

Kaloleni MP Gunga Mwinga asked for calm as police investigate the tragedy.

“I want to condole the family for this tragedy but I urge them to remain calm as police launch their investigations on the matter,” Mr Gunga said.

Kilifi County Commissioner Joseph Keter called a baraza where he told the residents that police require their cooperation during invesigation.

“I want to send my condolences to the family. Losing such precious life is something unbearable and I can understand how you feel.

"I want to assure you that we shall fully investigate these deaths,” Mr Keter said.

Josephine Kelvin, 20, the mother of the twins, said: “The fire was very fierce and by the time the villagers came to help, my mother-in law and my twins were gone."

The mother of Baraka and Furaha, Juliet Kalume, 25, told the Nation at the village that her children had spent the better part of the day looking jovial and she did not know that such a tragedy would occur.

“I don’t know what to do but I just leave it to God. I loved my children but God loved them more. I am yet to understand the whole terrible situation at the moment,” she said.

Kitsao Mweni said he and his wife wanted their son to stop breastfeeding and so they let him sleep in his grandmother's house as per their customs, until "he forgets about it".

"In our tradition, if you want to stop breastfeeding a child, you take him or her to your grandmother to sleep there until they forget about it.

"That is what we did. Unfortunately, I have lost my mother and my child,” Mr Mweni said.