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Family's plea: Help us bring 7 crash victims home for burial

Monday January 1 2018

Seven relatives killed in an accident.

A family in Ting'are Village, Ugunja Sub-County of Siaya County that lost seven relatives to an accident at Sultan Hamud on December 23, 2017 as they were heading to a funeral in Makueni County. PHOTO | NELCON ODHIAMBO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By NELCON ODHIAMBO
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Mama Pelestiah Anyango, 78, is yet to recover from the shock of losing seven relatives in a grisly road accident along the busy Nairobi-Mombasa highway a week ago.

Brothers Alfred Owino, 57, and Charles Osama, 47, died alongside their cousin Charles Wandhala, 54, and his wife Roselida Mukhwana, 48, and Mr Owino’s second wife Alice Kasango, 36.

Others who died were Mrs Angelina Ochiel, 62, and her son Joseph Obel.

LAST SUPPER

The seven were in a hearse they hired from Nairobi to attend the funeral of their cousin Alfred Onyango’s father-in-law in Makueni County, when the vehicle collided with a truck at Kalimbini in Sultan Hamud.

The accident has left residents of Ting’are Village, Ugunja Sub-County of Siaya County, wondering what had befallen the ‘Osama’ family, while Mama Anyango wishes that death could have spared at least one of her children.

Mama Anyango says she last spoke to her third-born son Charles Osama, the deputy head teacher at Ukalama Primary School, who informed her of their planned trip to Makueni.

She told the Nation that they at supper together on December 21, the day before he left for Nairobi to join his brother and cousins for the funeral. But just 24 hours later, she received a phone call about the accident.

"My son 'Osama' was excited about the Makueni trip. He was looking forward to meeting his elder brother and his other cousins who live in Nairobi and Mombasa and go with them to the funeral of Onyango’s father-in-law," said the sad Mama Anyango.

PLANS

Family spokesperson Joseph Kasango said Mama Anyango has been unable to eat and sleep well since the accident, and is worried about how the bodies would be ferried from the mortuary in Machakos to Ting’are Village for burial.

Mr Kasango added that funeral plans for the seven are underway and has urged well-wishers and the Siaya County Government to help them.

“We are calling on well-wishers to help us to move the bodies from Machakos County Hospital mortuary,” he said.

Mrs Christine Osama, now a widow, said that her husband Charles informed her of the Makueni trip a week earlier.

She said he left for Nairobi very early on December 22, 2017 in the company of Mrs Angelina Ochiel, who called her in the evening and said they had arrived safely in Nairobi.

Mrs Osama said that on December 23, 2017 when she was in church, she received a phone call from her eldest son Javas who was in Nairobi. He informed her of the accident.

“I never called my husband on Saturday the day he was heading for the burial in Makueni, only to receive a call from my son who broke the sad news to me informing me of the grisly accident along the Nairobi-Mombasa highway,” said the weeping Mrs Osama.

PLEA FOR HELP

Mrs Osama, a housewife, described her husband as a caring, responsible and loving man who was dedicated to providing for his family and educating his children.

She asked the national and county governments to help her pay her children’s school fees.

“My husband was a teacher and the family’s sole breadwinner…now that he is gone the only respect the county and national government could accord him is to educate his children as I am unable to educate them,” said Mrs Osama.

Ms Elizabeth Achieng, Alfred Owino’s first wife, also expressed uncertainty on the future of their children. Her husband and co-wife dies in the accident.

Ms Achieng also asked for assistance to bring up her children.