A cloud of gloom hang over Gatong’ora area in Ruiru as three members of a nuclear family, who died in a road crash, were laid to rest.
Tears flowed freely as the magnitude of the loss of an entire family sank in among hundreds of mourners.
Peter Kimani, 58, his wife Zipporah Muthoni, 51, and son David Gikonyo, 28, died in a road crash at Kinungi on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway on August 30. They were on their way to Molo for a family friend’s burial when the accident occurred.
Their car collided with an oncoming vehicle whose driver was trying to overtake but noticed another vehicle too late and rammed into Kimani’s car. Occupants of the other vehicle are said to have sustained serious injuries.
The accident occurred barely two months after the couple lost a daughter Grace Wambui, who succumbed to short illness after her university graduation. She was buried on July 20.
And that, sadly, is how a family was wiped out.
Kimani was a mechanic at Kabete Veterinary Laboratories.
Relatives, at a loss on why they had to bury an entire family in a span of two months, paid tribute to the three amid sobs and painful pauses. The Kimanis were eulogised as united, caring, loving and a model family dedicated to nation building.
“I will live to remember you all my life with hope that we’ll meet again. Though I have hope, it’s hard to say goodbye,” said a relative, who read a tribute on behalf of the family members.
The extended family said it was left with a lot of unanswered questions as mourners exchanged glances and spoke in hushed tones over the “mysterious” deaths.
But religious leaders at the burial condoled with the family, saying “they should not ask God questions as He has reasons for doing things”.
Political leaders , including senators Isaac Mwaura (Nominated) and Kimani Wamatangi (Kiambu) castigated impunity on Kenyan roads.
Wamatangi called for the expansion and installation of protective guardrails on Nairobi-Nakuru highway, whose accident statistics he described as “grim”.
“The laxity among our traffic police officers to enforce road rules should be addressed. We also need to re-look at the safety of that road, even if it means expanding or installing guardrails,” he said.
The Kinungi stretch is considered one of the most risky road sections in Kenya, especially when it’s foggy.
Wamatangi also criticised rogue motorists for ignoring road rules with abandon, endangering lives of other road users.
“If the right thing had been done, the lives of these people would have been saved,” he said.
Mwaura heaped the blame on National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) for allegedly sleeping on the job.
“They do not enforce speed limits to save lives,” he said.
The August 30 accident and others after it laid bare the grim situation on Kenyans roads.
Data released in June from the Traffic department shows that more than 1,200 people have died from road accidents in the country since January.
Of the casualties, 489 are pedestrians, 275 passengers, 242 motorcycle operators, 107 pavilion passengers, and 25 cyclists.
And data on NTSA website, which puts the figure to 1,977 fatalities by August.
At least 5,104 accidents were reported across the country in the period under review.