Grief as five family members who died on Christmas day laid to rest

Caskets bearing the remains of Ronald Bundi, his wife Veronica Ogake and three daughters Marion Bundi, Natalie Bundi and Claire Bundi who died on the spot after their vehicle collided head-on with another vehicle at Engwata area in Mackinnon near Voi. [Sammy Omingo,Standard]

Emotions ran high yesterday as the bodies of five family members who died in a road accident on Christmas Day along the Mombasa-Nairobi highway were laid to rest in Kisii.

Mombasa-based building contractor Ronald Bundi, his wife Veronica Ogake and their three daughters Marion, Natalia and Claire, like the close-knit family they were in life, were interred in one grave at their Boigesa Village home in Bobasi Constituency.

Family members wailed uncontrollably while others fainted as the five coffins were lowered into the partitioned grave some minutes past 4pm.

Kisii Catholic Bishop Joseph Mairura led the funeral service attended by hundreds of mourners and described them as dedicated members of the church.

Bishop Mairura narrated to the mourners how he was once stuck while looking for a job for a needy person at a company in Mombasa, only for Bundi to come to intervene.

He said Bundi had been supporting church programmes in his home church and in Mombasa and will be remembered for the many good deeds not only to his family, but also to village mates and other Kenyans who needed his help.

“Ronald had a great love for the people he interacted with. He was a choir trainer and music composer for his church; he will be greatly missed by the many people whose lives he touched,’’ said Bishop Mairura.

Transport Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Chris Obure, West Mugirango MP Vincent Kemosi, former Nyaribari Chache MP Robert Monda and former South Mugirango MP Omingo Magara were among hundreds of mourners who turned to bid farewell to the family.

Obure delivered Sh500,000 from Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to assist in funeral expenses besides donating Sh50,000 pledging to support the local Catholic Church Bundi was helping in its construction.

Bishop Mairura tightly controlled the programme and asked only Obure to greet mourners on behalf of the political leaders present as per the wishes of the family which did not want the funeral politicised.

“The death of Bundi and his family members is a big loss to the people of Boigesa Village in Bobasi Constituency; we are leaving the two children who survived the accident in the hands of God,” said Obure.

A last-minute change of plan almost wiped out the entire family in the accident that happened at Mackinnon on the Mombasa-Nairobi Highway.

His two sons Mike (9), and Venand (2), survived the accident and are currently recuperating at the Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital.

A family member, who spoke to The Standard, said Bundi had initially planned to leave behind his children with their cousin, but decided to travel after he secured private means.

Bundi and his two daughters died on the spot while the eldest daughter, Marion, died a week later while undergoing treatment in hospital.