A sombre mood engulfed Kironge village in Mwatate, Taita Taveta county as Hudson Wakise, a police officer who shot dead his wife and turned the gun on himself last week, was laid to rest.
Mr Wakise, who was a General Service Unit (GSU) officer seconded to Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi’s security detail, was quietly buried at his home without being accorded the police honors.
Only his family, friends, few colleagues, and villagers attended the burial ceremony. CS Matiang'i sent his Personal Assistant George Muruli to read his message of condolence to the family.
The family revealed that the government only supported them with a vehicle to transport the body from Nairobi to his home.
Often such a funeral, especially for an officer, would see his colleagues conduct a funeral parade to honor and celebrate his life. The pall would be supported by officers of the same rank as that held by the deceased.
The coffin would be draped with the police flag and his uniform put on top of the casket. A firing drill is held besides the grave where the officer is also given a 12 gun salute.
Families of such police officers typically receive an outpouring of emotional support from the government, including financial assistance, during the burial ceremony.
For Wakise, this was not the case. He was not honored with any kind of police send-off ceremony, with the family receiving little support from the government, save for the hearse.
As the family mourns the death of their son who prematurely ended his life and that of his wife Pauline Wakasa, they said they were neglected by the government.
His elder brother, Kennedy Wakise said the family felt that the government had neglected their serviceman, who diligently worked for the State.
He said they would have wished their brother to be accorded the police honours, since he was committed to his work, despite the way his life ended.
"Police pledge to serve the public good and put their lives on the line daily. When they pass away, whether from circumstances in the line of duty or otherwise, their funerals should reflect honor and respect for their service and dedication. It's not the family's fault that he died," he added.
The late officer took part in the Dusit D2 complex terror attack rescue mission in 2019 where he was injured on his left eye. The family said after the incident he has never been the same again.
"He struggled to cope with depression and the effects of trauma so often experienced by police officers. That is when his problems started," he narrated.
He said police officers are held with high standard when they are alive and should be the same when they die.
"Why don't we take better care of them when they die no matter what killed them. We wish that the government should do away with such laws," he said.
In his message, CS Matiang'i eulogised his bodyguard as a passionate officer who believed in hard work and effective service delivery.
He said throughout his seven years of service, Mr Wakise related well with his colleagues and was cooperative, earning trust from his commanders for his dedication to duty.
"His contribution to duty in the country includes the rapid response to the Dusit D2 terrorist attack on January 16, 2019 that gave Hudson an opportunity to display his gallantry by rescuing many Kenyan men and women who were under siege by the perpetrators of terrorism," he said.
In his previous remarks, the CS said both the government agencies and police departments acknowledge the growing mental health crisis among police and there was need to pay attention to the challenge.
His parents eulogised him as a person who loved helping people and being around them.
"Most of all, he loved helping people. When he could help someone, he always did. He was a special child amongst all. He had a big heart that accommodated all his siblings, friends and others," said his father Nehemiah Wakise.
Pauline, the deceased wife was on Sunday laid to rest at her parents’ rural home in Matsakha village, Kakamega County.
Wakise's family said they are in talking terms with their in-laws and had agreed to let them burry their daughter in Kakamega.
Last week, Wakise's family had asked their in-laws to allow them to bury the couple in Kironge. However, Pauline's family declined the proposal.
"I want to make this clear. We do not have any issues with our in-laws. We are planning to have a meeting with them to discuss about the children," said the family's spokesman George Nguru.