Edward Mutiga did not know that his mother’s call, shortly before she left Meru for Mombasa for his wedding, would be the last time he was speaking to her.
Mutiga said his mother, Sabina Anampiu, broke her tradition of calling him between 7pm and 10pm before going to sleep and instead called at 6am on Sunday. “My mother always made sure that before she went to bed, she called to find out how we were fairing on.”
He said his mother’s dream had been to see him solemnise his marriage to his wife of 12 years, Ruth Gakii. This never came to be after his mother and mother-in-law Margaret Kariri died in the Nithi bridge bus crash.
“On Sunday morning, when we spoke, she was excited that at last I was going to wed. The wedding was scheduled for Wednesday.
“She called my wife and they spoke for long time before she passed the phone to me,” said Mutiga.
Speaking to The Standard at his house in Utange yesterday, Mutiga said he had left everything to God.
“We had prepared everything for the wedding on Wednesday (tomorrow) at Kiembeni Catholic church. Church members and friends were ready with their gifts,” said Mutiga.
Until Sunday evening, Mutiga knew everything would go on as planned. But the excitement ended when his brother, Fredrick Muthume, called him on Monday at 2am to confirm their fears.
“The fear of losing my mother and mother-in-law started on Sunday at 7pm when my wife alerted me about an accident at Nithi River where passengers aboard a Modern Coast Bus had perished,” said Mutiga.
He recalls that on Sunday at 7pm as he was briefing the wedding committee, his wife became concerned about what she was seeing on social media.
“We stopped the brief and I called my brother Fredrick Muthoni to go and find out at Chogoria Hospital if what we had seen on social media was true,” said Mutiga.
The couple had made their mothers surprise wedding dresses, which they say they don’t know what to do with. “We had decided that we were going to surprise our parents with the wedding dresses. Each dress had a unique feature depending on what each liked.
“They were so excited about the wedding. Since my mother-in-law is from Muciimukuru in Tigania East and my mother from Tigania West, we decided they travel together from Meru,” said Gakii.
She added: “My mother was looking forward to this wedding. She had been telling us to ensure we do it when she is still alive,” said Gakii.
Gakii said she last spoke to her mother on Sunday evening as they prepared to leave Meru Modern Coast office at 5pm. Gakii’s brother, Samuel Thuranira, who had accompanied her mother is admitted to a hospital in Meru with multiple injuries.
“It is unfortunate that barely after one hour after they had left Meru, their bus plunged into River Nithi killing 34 people.”
Mutiga said they had postponed the wedding indefinitely and were now concentrating on planning the burials of their loved ones.