A family in Mombasa is mourning the death of six members in a road accident in Man Eaters, a black spot along the Mombasa-Nairobi Highway.
Mr Martin Mutua Maura (41), Mr Denis Rono Kivuva (24), Mr Felix Mulu Mutiso (24), Mr Charles Mainga Mukumi (21), and Mr Mike Ndolo Mukumi (30) died on the spot while Ms Faith Mukeli (28) succumbed to injuries while being taken to Mtito Andei Hospital.
The relatives had been travelling in a four-wheel drive vehicle on Sunday night from Kitui to Mombasa after attending their cousin’s traditional wedding.
They collided head-on with a truck coming from Mombasa.
“Had they listened to my pleas, they would still be alive,” regrets Mr Sylvester Makalu, whose wife Mukeli, two brothers – Charles Mainga Mukumi and Mike Ndolo Mukumi – two cousins and an uncle died in the accident.
Mr Makalu said at their home in Mombasa that he did not want his wife and brothers to go for the traditional wedding.
He said he was against his siblings’ attendance of the ruracio rite since his cousin never participates in family matters.
“I will live with the regret. But my dad pleaded with me to allow my wife to go. He even threatened never to talk to me if I didn’t let her attend the occasion.
“So I gave in with a heavy heart. I even contemplated not giving her money for transport as an excuse but it never worked. They all wanted to go for the ceremony,” he said in Nyali.
Mr Makalu said he called his brothers and wife but none of them answered their phones. He got worried and called his relative, a police officer in Mtito Andei.
“He confirmed that they had been involved in an accident but he refused to give me details. He just told me “Sorry” and added that I should go to Voi to get more information. I called my brother Mike, but a stranger received the call and told me he would call back. I called back again and he told me to go to Voi,” said the father of two.
Together with a brother-in-law, they went to Voi Police Station where they found the wreckage.
“I went to the mortuary to confirm the worst. I bid them farewell and left – heartbroken and shaken. My two brothers were my pillars of strength. The only sibling I am left with is my sister. It is very sad. I was the eldest brother,” he added.
Mr Makalu’s sister-in-law, Ms Naomi Njeri, whose husband (Mike) died in the accident said: “It is God’s plan.”
“I was supposed to travel with them but something held me back. But Mike is no more. Before the accident, we had chatted up to 11pm while they were travelling. He was very excited,” she said.
She said her husband sent her pictures while they were travelling back to Mombasa.
The five bodies are at Voi County Hospital Mortuary and one is at Makindu mortuary.