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Ex-MP's daughter buried on her birthday, days after her father

By Patrick Beja | August 21st 2020 at 09:00:00 GMT +0300

Religious leaders pray for the body of Langoni Kajembe (inset) before her burial yesterday. [Robert Menza, Standard]

Former Changamwe MP Ramadhan Kajembe's family is still trying to come to terms with a series of deaths that have shaken it in less than a month. 

The latest one was Langoni Kajembe, the former MP's first born, who died on Wednesday night, two weeks after the death of her father.

She is suspected to have died of Covid-19.

This was the third death in the family this month, and the fourth since the year began.

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In a bizarre twist of fate, Langoni's burial yesterday coincided with her 46th birthday and her marriage anniversary. She was buried at the family’s Kwa Shee cemetery.

Until her death at the Pandya Memorial Hospital on Wednesday night, Langoni was Kenya Port Authority's Shimoni port manager.

Her father, Kajembe, who served two terms as Changamwe MP, died in the same hospital on August 7 after being admitted in intensive care unit for two weeks.

Kajembe's death occurred two weeks after that of his first wife, Mama Aziza.

Father, mother and daughter are suspected to have died of Covid-19.

Earlier in February, the family lost Kajembe's second wife, Mama Zaharia, who died in February.

Like Kajembe and Mama Aziza, Langoni was hurriedly buried by a team from Mombasa County's public health department dressed in personal protective gear.

In a statement, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho consoled the family.

“Today we mourn the tragic passing on of our sister Langoni Kajembe, the daughter of the late Honourable Ramadhan Kajembe. On behalf of my family, the people of Mombasa ... I wish to extend our condolences to the Kajembe family. May the Almighty assuage your grief and grant you patience to endure these trying times,” said Joho.

Mombasa Senator Mohamed Faki joined the family and mourners at the hospital's mortuary yesterday morning.

Thronged mortuary

Friends, relatives and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) employees also thronged the mortuary and Langoni's Mikindani home.

Most of them were, however, not allowed inside the compound in line with Covid-19 regulations. They followed the funeral ceremony from outside the homestead, as police kept guard.

Her husband Khamis Seif did not speak at the ceremony.

Langoni's brothers, Soud and Harun Kajembe, said her death, coming after that of their father and two mothers, was devastating to the family.

“This is a big blow not only to our family but the port of Mombasa, where she worked. We are most saddened because we lost our father just about two weeks ago and our two mothers recently,” said Soud.

Harun said the family was still trying to come to terms with the series of deaths that hit it this year.

“It is sad that our elder sister has died soon after our father and mother in less than a month,” he said.

Mary Akinyi, who was Langoni’s friend and colleague, described her as jovial with a passion for sports.

When the body arrived at the family home, an imam conducted brief prayers before the public health team carried it to the family cemetery, where Langoni was buried next to her father's fresh grave.

The public health team then fumigated the compound.

Death has followed the family of the former Changamwe MP since 2006, when he lost his son Khatib Kajembe.

In 2017, the cruel hand of death snatched another son, Seif Kajembe, who had, in 2013, contested the newly created Jomvu parliamentary seat.

Kajembe first served 15 years as the Councillor for Mikindani Ward before serving as Changamwe MP for three terms from 1997 to 2013.

He then unsuccessfully contested for Mombasa senator's seat.

Until last year, Kajembe was the chairman of the Kenya Ferry Services board.

Coronavirus Covid-19 Ramadhan Kajembe Langoni Kajembe
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