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A father's pain as he bids goodbye to children killed by their mother

By Benard Kimani | November 9th 2015
James Mwangi during the burial of his two children in Rubiru village in Murang'a. (Photo: Benard Kimani)

Two children killed in Nairobi's Mwiki estate on October 29 were laid to rest over the weekend in a solemn ceremony in Rubiru village, Murang'a County.

The two, Yvonne Njeri, seven, and her brother Mark Waiganjo, three, were allegedly killed by their mother before she attempted to take her life with the same weapon she used to slit their throats.

At the burial ceremony, speakers avoided addressing the circumstances that lead to the deaths of the two children, despite the apparent shock among family members who had not came to terms with what happened.

The burial was conducted in the absence of the children's mother, Mary Nduta, who was under the police custody in Mwiki.

Ms Nduta is expected to be arraigned in court today. The deceased eulogy read that the two children met their death in a tragic accident.

The notably aggrieved James Mwangi, the father of the two said: "As I grieve, the world also grieves the loss of these two gentle souls. I try to imagine you have gone to sleep without saying goodbye. My heart is weak and I know I can never mourn enough for my children."

Charles Murigi, Nduta's father, said his family was in deep pain over what happened. He said his daughter had been unwell for sometime and that he noted that following family disputes, his third-born daughter had developed depression.

Thorough probe

He requested a thorough probe to be done to establish the cause of the killings. "What I can say is that my daughter used to ask me to send her money so that she could buy medicine," said Mr Murigi.

Joseph Macharia, one of Mr Mwangi's best friends, said he was the one who took the bodies of the children to the mortuary. He said the death of the two children surprised him since he had known the couple for over 10 years. He noted that even during their separation, Mwangi used to call his wife to his house and support her.

On the fateful day, Mr Macharia said Nduta called the school and informed the teacher that she was the one to pick the children on that day. She said she wanted the minors to have supper at her house, but this was to be their last day alive.

"On that day, there was a power blackout in Mwiki and my friend was not in a hurry to pick the children from their mother," said Macharia.

Macharia said Mwangi received a call from his wife's sister informing him to check on his spouse since she had said she was very sick.

On arriving at her wife's house, Mwangi found her writhing in pain and his children dead.

"It was very dark in the room and initially we could not clearly establish what happened and who could have been behind the murder," said Macharia

Nduta was rushed to the hospital while her children were taken to the mortuary. Macharia said the sight of the dead children was horrible, and he was surprised to see undertakers shedding tears when receiving the bodies at City Mortuary.

Mwangi's elder brother Paul Maina said the family had protracted disputes that had on several occasions been addressed by the chief in Mwiki. "Parents of the couple had met four times on different occasions to try and address the disputes in the family," said Mr Maina.

He said the children preferred staying with their father who took them to school before going to work.

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