BY LINAH BENYAWA
Nothing is sacred anymore. On January 29, when mourners congregated at Elizabeth Mjombaâs home in Miritini, Mombasa, their mission was simply to condole the family and mobilise enough money to afford the deceased a decent burial.
And after digging deep in their pockets, they collected enough money to pay the mortuary fee and finance other burial arrangements as they fine-tuned their plans to inter the remains a day later. But all their planning went to waste.
Just as they went to sleep, Mombasaâs deadliest gangsters, the 40 Brothers, came calling.
They were not coming to pay their respects to the deceased. Death had brought them an opportunity, which was too juicy to ignore.
The mourners got the shock of their lives when the criminals raided their home. They were armed with pangas and other crude weapons when they ordered everyone to lie down.
They then ordered the moaners to surrender all the money they had in their pockets, cell phones and all other valuables.
The deceasedâs brother, Stanclause Koska, recounts how the gang demanded for the money they had contributed for the funeral budget. He says the gang was so ruthless that they even injured some of his relatives who later died in hospital.
Majority of those injured were men who opted to sleep outside the house, while the women got lucky as they had locked themselves inside at the time of the attack.
The incident traumatised the whole family as they were forced to look for more funds to offset mortuary bills.
"We were moaning the death of my sister Elizabeth. Well-wishers had given us some cash donations to offset hospital the bill because that was quite high. Unfortunately, we were faced by a double tragedy when I lost my brother-in-law following the raid," says Koska.