A six-year-old boy who died after he was run over by a car in Deputy President William Ruto’s convoy during his tour of Busia County on Friday was eager to see the DP for the first time, his parents have revealed.
The parents of Felix Sydney Mambala, a Class One pupil at Fenape Junior Academy in Budalang’i said their only son had insisted on attending the DP’s event at St Benedict’s Budalang’i High School.
“He was a very jovial boy who loved to interact with people. Whenever he came from school, the first thing was to report that he is back,” said his father Mr Felix Mambala.
Mr Mambala also revealed that he received a call from Dr Ruto while at Port Victoria Sub-County Hospital, through Busia Base Commandant Jared Gitau and the DP promised to support him.
“Deputy Ruto told me to take heart and assured me of his support. He promised to take care of all funeral arrangements. I am at pains with this loss because I was striving to ensure that Sydney also becomes like him (Ruto),” said the father of two.
A car belonging to the Deputy President’s Press team ran over the boy just few minutes after the DP had finished his rally at St Benedict’s Budalang'i High School.
Dr Ruto had left for Kingandole Secondary in Butula Constituency for his final rally in a chopper. He was accompanied by MPs Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East) and Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong.
The victim, who hails from Budalang'i, was rushed to Port Victoria Sub-County hospital. The DP was in Busia to launch the Lower Nzoia Irrigation project. A post mortem report has revealed that the boy died of respiratory failure.
Dr Hillary Kiplagat who conducted the autopsy said the victim also had several bruises and friction burns on the upper and lower limbs.
“He had massive bleeding in the left lung with evidence of convulsions which led to respiratory failure,” he said.
The victim had bone fractures in the limbs and scalp injuries, the doctor said.
It also emerged that lack of specialised services at the facility may have stifled efforts to save the patient who was taken to the facility at around 7 pm.
“At the moment, we don’t have cardiothoracic surgeon who is only available at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.”
Deputy medical superintendent at the facility Namudala Emukule said they received the patient, who was unconscious, at around 8pm on Friday.
“We received the patient at around 7:45 pm in unconscious state having been referred here after being involved in a road accident. Upon Assessment, the patient was referred for imaging to ascertain if there were any raptured organs,” Mr Emukule said.
He said that the patient, who started gasping before the examination, died at around 9:45pm.
Mr Emmanuel Talam, Dr Ruto’s Deputy Communications director delivered the Deputy President’s condolence message to the boy’s parents.
“He has sent me alongside the secretary in charge of administration in his office Mr Abdul Mwasera to stand with the family and to assure them of his support. He has ordered the police to conduct thorough investigations into what caused the accident,” said Mr Talam.
He disclosed that the Dr Ruto promised to find time and visit the family in person. The boy’s father said he was alerted of the accident on phone.
“I rode on my bicycle to Port Victoria where I found him on drip. His condition worsened and we were referred to Busia,” he said.
At Busia Referral Hospital, he said, his son was not attended to for about three hours.
“We asked the nurse on duty to attend to him since he was bleeding from the nose and mouth but we were told to just wipe the blood,” he said.
The hospital has, however, dismissed the claims.
“Going by the documentation, this patient was received at 7:45pm and by 8:10 he was being reviewed by doctors,” said a nurse at the hospital.
The DP took to his Twitter page on Friday night where he reported that he had learnt about the accident and wished the boy a quick recovery.
On Saturday morning, he posted an update sending his condolences to the boy’s family.
“Saddened by news of the passing on of Sydney Mambala Felix, a young and bubbly boy. Followed closely the situation after I was informed of the unfortunate incident and, now, deeply condole with the family of Mzee Mambala, his peers and friends for the grave loss of a loved one,” he stated.
“I have spoken with Mzee and assured the family of support during this difficult time. May God rest young Sydney in eternal peace,” he wrote.