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ELECTION 2022

Girl still looking for parents after post-election violence

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By By Alex Namuliro | Jul 1st 2013 | 4 min read
Rachel Kiseri [Photo:Standard]

 

By Alex Namuliro

It has been five agonising years for 14-year-old Rachel Kiseri ever since she was separated from her family after a gang attacked her home at the height of the 2007 post-election violence.

She does not know the whereabouts of her parents and her young sibling who disappeared without a trace after their home was reduced to ashes by attackers in Uasin Gishu County.

“I don’t know whether they are dead or alive. It has been a fruitless search and I am beginning to think they may not be alive,” says Ms Kiseri as she fights back tears.

She still remembers the fateful evening when her family scattered, never to re-unite again.

“It was one evening in December 2007 when crowds surrounded our house and set is on fire, we were forced to run away without carrying anything,” the young Kiseri tells The County Weekly.

It was at the height of the disputed post-election violence when conflict erupted in parts of Eldoret town where Kiseri and her family lived in Marula estate.

The crowds were going around in the town flushing people out of their houses and setting a blaze their property.

“My father was away at work in Huruma estate where he worked as a tutor while my younger brother, my mother and I were at home when hundreds of men armed with machetes, rungus and other weapons attacked our home together with our neighbors,” the emotional Kiseri says.

She adds: “As we scampered for safety, I lost track of my family members. Father was not at home and I don’t know whether the attackers met him on the way and killed him. Or could he still be alive?”

Wondered

A traumatised Kiseri says she later found herself at Matunda market in the company of many other escapees.

It was getting late in the evening when a young lady she only remembers as Rose accepted to take her after listening to her sad tale.

After living with the lady for two weeks, she says they decided to go back to her home in Marula estate where they found nothing but rubbles. Her house had been burnt down.

“I was shocked. I wept and wondered whether I will ever see my family members again. I asked myself whether they were burnt in the house,” says Ms Kiseri.

The Good Samaritan (Rose) could not leave her at the deserted homestead and asked her to accompany her to her (Rose’s) native home at Shikoli in Kakamega County.

Rose later enrolled the young girl at Serve Academy in Sabatia where she studied for two years.

But things started going wrong again when Rose got married and told her to look for another guardian because she could not go with her to her new home.

“I spent many days loitering within the village, visiting friends at school and asking them for shelter but none could help,” she says.

She adds: “ I went to some Masinde Muliro University female students who stayed outside main campus and requested to stay with them as I did their house chores.”

She says the students couldn’t accommodate her for long so they decided to take her to police who took her to the children’s remand at Amalemba, Kakamega.

She left the children’s remand in January 2012 after the court allowed her to be taken to the Mission to the Fatherless Children’s Home.

She is now in Standard Six at Kakamega Primary school but lives at the Children’s home.

Native home

She remembers her father’s name as Leonard Katana and mother as Beatrice Mideva.

“I last saw my parents when I was nine years old. I want to know where I can find them, if they are still alive,” she says.

Worse still, she barely remembers anything about her native home in Coast region where she says she was too young when they last visited.

“Life has never been the same after I was separated from my family but I thank all those who have helped me to this end, especially that lady who took me when I had nowhere to go and also the Mission to the Fatherless Children’s home,” says Ms Kiseri almost breaking down to tears.

Responsible

The Mission to the Fatherless Children’s home caters for all her needs and she is so grateful for that.

She says she wants to be an air hostess when she grows up.

Ms Emma Olando; her class teacher at Kakamega Primary school says she is a very industrious girl who interacts well with others.

“She is above average in her class work and also the class prefect because she is a very responsible girl,” Ms Olando says.

Ms Kiseri has not lost hope in reuniting with her family soon. She also  hopes to  finish school and achieve her dreams in life.

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