Families at the Coast mourn kin killed in Kulbiyow camp attack

Mary Karembo (left) on January 30, 2017 mourns the death of her son, a KDF soldier, who died after they were attacked by Al-Shabaab at Kulbiyow camp in Somalia. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • The Kenya Defence Forces camp in Somalia was attacked on Friday morning by Al-Shabaab terrorists.
  • At Kinarani village in Kaloleni Sub-County of Kilifi County, family and friends were mourning Rajab Baya Kazungu, who also died in the attack.

Five families from Kilifi and Mombasa counties were Monday mourning their relatives killed in the Kulbiyow Army Base attack.

The Kenya Defence Forces camp in Somalia was attacked on Friday morning by Al-Shabaab terrorists.

At Mikuluni village in Ganze, Kilifi, distraught families and villagers were still trying to come to terms with the deaths of Kennedy George Bakari, 30, and his 38-year-old nephew Juma Bakari Mwanguyo.

Kennedy’s 83-year-old father George Bakari said his ninth born in a family of 11 children, whom he described as his hope, visited home last December.

“My son loved me very much. He was here before the year ended and had promised to finish his brick house he was constructing. I loved Kennedy very much,” he said before breaking down in tears.

Juma’s mother Mtaa Bakari, 59, said she received a call from her brother in Mombasa on Saturday evening with news about Juma.

“My son Juma was here in December and then returned to Somalia. So when the news of the attack started to come in, we tried to call his number but it was not going through. I was very disturbed because I knew my son was based in Somalia,” she said, adding that at around 7pm on Saturday, she received the call that confirmed her worst fears — that Juma, her first born, was among the casualties.

Family spokesman David Kabwanga said the bodies of the two KDF officers drawn from the 15KR Battalion in Nyali, Mombasa, had been identified at the Armed Forces Memorial in Nairobi and the family was waiting for more details on when they will be allowed to bring the bodies home.

He said the two served several times in the war-torn country since joining KDF in 2008.

Juma is survived by a wife and five children while Kennedy leaves a wife and two children.

At Kinarani village in Kaloleni Sub-County of Kilifi County, family and friends were mourning Rajab Baya Kazungu, who also died in the attack.

The KDF soldier was newly married, having wed Irene Mgae last December 3.

BREADWINNER

At Utange in Kisauni Constituency, Mombasa County, a sombre mood engulfed the home of 40-year-old Mohamed Kalume, a father of four.

The family and friends went on with burial preparations, as some dug a grave where their hero will be laid to rest on Saturday.

Kalume’s ailing father Kalume Machaku sat weeping quietly outside a small makuti-thatched house a short distance away.

“I feel like a heavy burden has been placed on my back because I have not only lost a son but also the breadwinner. They have taken away my only hope, I do not know what to tell you,” Mr Machaku told the Daily Nation as he struggled to find words.

He said a team of KDF officers visited his home on Sunday and informed him of the death of his second born.

“They said they will just bring us the body and bury him here and left without telling me who will cater for the burial expenses.

"I am just a sad and disappointed man because my son has served this nation for the last 15 years,” said the father of seven.

Kalume’s wife Mary Karembo said she last spoke to her husband last December when he promised to be home in April.

In Likoni, Mombasa, the family of Amani Yusuf Mwinga was reliving the memories of their kin whom they buried on Sunday at Senti Kumi cemetery.

His sister Aisha Mwinga said the last born in a family of six left behind a wife and a daughter aged three years.

Additional report by Hamisi Ngowa

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