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Plight of baby hit by terrorist’s bullet evoked anger, sympathy beyond words

By By BENARD SANGA | March 26th 2014


Last week was a busy time for me. I was assigned to cover the discovery of a booby-trapped car by the police in Mombasa and tasked to gather as much information about the car bomb, the two suspects arrested and analyse the theories on the possible target and the magnitude of the carnage had the terrorists succeeded in their mission.

The findings were terrifying. All experts concurred that explosives were capable of bringing down a 12-storey building, cause massive destruction and mass murder.

I submitted the articles on Saturday which were published on Sunday.

I normally worship at Kiembeni Catholic Church but as I was preparing to leave service on Sunday, I received a call from my editor David Ochami about the Likoni church attack and he instructed me to go to the office so that we can discuss how the incident should be covered.

Upon my arrival, I found the editor had already dispatched reporters to the scene.

They came back with several gory stories and discussion on the conditions of the victims with our cameraman Maarufu Mohamed and editor ensued. The plight of Satrin Osinya, the 11-month-old victim, began to fire our collective sympathy and imagination.

It touched my heart. I felt that should be our story and so I decided to go to Coast General Hospital for it. The pictures that Mohamed had taken were horrifying.

“What if it was my son,” I wondered. I decided the boy’s plight should be my ‘beat’ and hit the road to the hospital.

The scene at the hospital was bloodcurdling. The infant with a blooded top was crying in pain, holding onto his elder brother Moses Gift who was also in tears. Some of the visitors could not hold back their tears. It was an emotional period.

That Sunday I wrote a small story on the account of the 13-year-old Gift. On Monday I visited the young Satrin at the hospital after I had visited the church where blooded copies of Bible were scattered on the floor.

At the hospital, I found Dr Bernard Mwero, the Chief Administrator, who explained to me the condition of the boy.

When we went to ward 7 where he was admitted, we found young Satrin still crying with pain. As I approached them, he opened his arms for me. I carried him and he held onto me tightly. I felt helpless, angry and very sympathetic.

After that, I met the infant’s father Benson Osinya who looked very weak and was crying. He also lost his wife in the attack.

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