Families of two fishermen killed in Lake Naivasha demand justice

Fredrick Romuna who was among two illegal fishermen whose death last week sparked protest among members of the fishing community in Lake Naivasha.

Photo credit: Courtesy

He sat on a bench outside the Naivasha Police Station, deep in thought as he mumbled inaudible words. For Edward Noah, the pain of losing his firstborn child is clearly weighing him down.

Brian Khayo, 21, was among two illegal fishermen whose deaths have sparked protests among fishing folk, with security agencies yet to come out and explain what transpired on the fateful Tuesday morning.

“I only learnt of his death on Thursday last week, two days after he died in unclear circumstances. I last saw him on Monday morning after I summoned him for a meeting inside my house,” said the distraught father, swallowing hard.

Mr Noah had called him to his house to discuss “a few family issues” before he excused himself and left for work.

“I wanted him to go back to school because he had cleared Form Four and attained a mean grade of C minus. I was ready to sponsor him for any course,” disclosed the father, a flower farm worker. 

Edward Noah whose son Brian Khayo was killed in mysterious circumstances inside lake Naivasha

Photo credit: Macharia Mwangi | Nation Media Group

Mr Noah was getting jittery about his son’s decision to join the fishing business – a job flout with inherent dangers – and had secured him a menial job, but the young man defied his father.

“I did not want him to continue fishing and informed him as much, but he remained adamant. I painstakingly educated him with my meager salary and being a bright student, I saw a future in him," he said. 

Before he met his death, Mr Khayo had prepared and eaten dinner in his father’s house in Kihoto estate before leaving.

“I didn’t know he was dead until a relative informed me that he was among those who died in the lake. The pain is too much to bear,” he mourned.

Mr Khayo died alongside his bosom friend Fredrick Romuna. The two were like Siamese twins, never a day apart and, as fate would have it, they died on the same day.

Outlining the sequence of events, Mr Romuna’s brother-in-law, Felix Albert, recounted the last moments the two shared.

“I was with him last Sunday at the Kihoto open grounds as we enjoyed a football match. He assured me that he would give me a fish before the week ended,” he recalled.

Brian Khayo who was among two fishermen whose death last week’s death sparked protest among members of the fishing community in Lake Naivasha.

Photo credit: Courtesy

The 20-year-old was an ardent football fan and meeting with his in-law was a tell-it-all and catch-up moment for the two close friends.

“I never knew it was our last candid talk … I am truly hurt by his sudden death. I am calling on authorities to come out and tell us what transpired,” Mr Albert said.

Lake View ward MCA-elect Alex Mbugua blamed the deaths on members of the Coast Guard Service, who engaged in a high-speed chase on Lake Naivasha.

“From what I have gathered, the high-speed boat ferrying the officers rammed into the duo's vessel, causing them serious injuries before they drowned,” Mr Mbugua said.

He also demanded answers from the police, saying measures should be adopted to help prevent such incidents.

In an earlier interview with the Nation, Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Kisilu Mutua said they were awaiting postmortem reports to ascertain the cause of the deaths.

“We don’t want to speculate before the official autopsy report is out,” he said. 

The deaths caused furious protests among the fishing folk, who engaged police in running battles in Naivasha town.

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