Mass held for five relatives who died in Christmas Day crash

An obituary of the five that ran in the Daily Nation on Tuesday.

Photo credit: Courtesy

Grief engulfed St Francis of Assisi Catholic Parish in Nyali, Mombasa, on Wednesday as family and friends converged for a requiem mass for five relatives who died in a grisly road accident on Christmas Day.

The late Ronald Bundi Mauncho, his wife Veronica Ogake and three daughters perished on the Mombasa-Nairobi highway while heading to Kisii to celebrate the festive season.

The five perished in the Egwata area, near Mackinnon. Their bodies were taken to a Mombasa mortuary.

"Although our hearts are heavy, we cannot ask God questions, we thank Him for the gifts of this family to our church. I have walked with this family and what we have today is not a loss of a member of this parish but it is a personal loss," the parish priest, Fr Maxwell Okello, told the mourners.

Fr Okello noted that Bundi’s five children – the late Marion Moraa, the late Natalia Kemunto, the late Claire Kwamboka, and Mike Bundi and Venand Bundi, who are hospitalised - could not leave church every Sunday without bidding him goodbye.

Ronald Bundi Mauncho

The five will be buried in one grave. The main grave has been dug. It will be partitioned into five sections to accommodate the bodies.

Photo credit: Wachira Mwangi | Nation Media Group

"On the last Sunday before their trip, we had a meeting and at the end of that meeting, the children waited to say goodbye.

Claire said goodbye but I never responded. I regret why I never responded,” said Fr Okello.

“Natalia was a unique girl and was very difficult to annoy. She has taught me dedication and love."

Bodies will be airlifted

Mombasa Diocese Archbishop Martin Kivuva, who officiated the mass, said it was unfortunate to witness the sendoff of the five family members.

"Let us learn from this. We need to be ready. Our prayers are not in vain. It gives us hope to know that we are never alone. Our faith, which we all share, makes us one family,” he said.

“This young couple had a loving family, their photos radiate kindness and love for the church. Let their death strengthen you as a church."

It was an emotional moment when the two surviving brothers – Mike, 9, and Venand, 2, were brought to the church to pay their last respects.

Ronald Bundi Mauncho

Their two sons were wheeled from an ambulance to view and pray for their departed parents and sisters before they were returned to Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital to continue with treatment.

Photo credit: Wachira Mwangi | Nation Media Group

They were wheeled from the ambulance to view and pray for their departed parents and sisters before they were returned to Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital to continue with treatment.

The cortege will leave the Jocham mortuary on Thursday. The bodies will be airlifted from Mombasa to Kisumu and later taken by road for burial on Friday at Nyakegogi in Sameta, Kisii County.

The five will be buried in one grave. The main grave has been dug. It will be partitioned into five sections to accommodate the bodies.

Mr Casmir Nyabuto, Mr Bundi’s elder brother, earlier explained that his brother’s vehicle was involved in a head-on collision with another private vehicle.

“He had tried to overtake, but due to the nature of the road, which is narrow and usually foggy during the morning hours and congested with trailers, he could not find an escape route when he saw an oncoming vehicle and hit it head-on,” he said of the 4am crash.

“The other vehicle burst into flames. Its driver and two other occupants were burned to ashes.”

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