Mariam Kighenda’s husband speaks out after wife, daughter died at Likoni Ferry Channel

Mariam Kighenda's husband speaks out after wife, daughter died at Likoni Ferry Channel

John Wambua has pointed an accusing finger at the Kenya Ferry Services over the death of his wife and daughter who drowned in the Indian Ocean waters, on September 29, 2019 after the car they were in slid off the ferry midstream.

Wambua says his wife Mariam Kighenda was an experienced driver and he believes she would never have made such a mistake to reverse out of the ferry midstream.

“She has been driving for over 10 years, she is a very careful driver… I doubt it was her negligence, you saw the car, it was in parking gear, the handbrake was activated,” says Wambua.

He believes that once investigations are complete, it will be revealed that the incident was not out of Kigenda’s fault.

“They are special to me, I cry every morning, I cry every night but God is my strength,” adds Wambua.

Before the tragic events of September 29, the last conversation Wambua had with his wife of more than 10 years, still echo in his mind.

“She called to ask for money. When heading back home she was short of money since she had paid workers. So I told her where to find money inside the car to pay for crossing using the ferry,” said Wambua.

Mariam was crossing the Likoni Channel as she headed back home in Tudor, from their family farm in Kwale.

It was, however, after that call that Wambua says just 10 minutes later, he received an alert that a car had sunk in the ocean waters.

How it happened, Wambua believes, was not her wife’s fault.

The accident has shone the spotlight on the Kenya Ferry Services, shamefully revealing the mishaps that appeared not be taken with the seriousness deserved.

But as Wambua hopes that the Kenya Ferry Services will fix whatever needs to be fixed, it is the memories he shared with his wife and daughter that give him strength to face the days ahead without the two.

“My wife was a very forgiving person. She never held grudges. Amanda was my everything, my one and only daughter,” recalls Wambua.

Despite promises made by the government with regards to helping him accord his loved ones a decent burial, Wambua is yet to receive anything.

At the moment, a post mortem examination is set be carried out on Monday 9am, at the Coast General Hospital before Mariam Kighenda and Amanda Mutheu are laid to rest.

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Story By Raquel Muigai
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