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Please help me find my son

By Mercy Kahenda | July 6th 2016
A portrait photoof Mwangi Munyeri who went missing during 2007/8 post election violence in Kisauni-Mombasa county {PHOTO BY MERCY KAHENDA}

Eighty-year-old Mary Njeri seats under a tree shade at Teachers estate in the outskirts of Nakuru town staring at a portrait of her son who disappeared mysteriously during the 2007/08 post election violence.

She tells us the disappearance of her 53-year-old son, Mwangi Munyeri, has caused her sleepless nights and taken away her appetite for anything.

“My mind seems to be here but I am miles away thinking about my loving son. The son I treasured who went missing without a trace,” she says.

Holding onto her tears, the mother says the loss has also rendered her hopeless, financially unstable and psychologically disturbed.

Njeri used to stay with Munyeri in a rental house at Kisauni, Mombasa County, before he went missing. He was a small scale trader who used to make and sell curios to local and international tourists coming to the region.

Recounting that fateful morning of January 4, 2008, Njeri says her son woke up very early in the morning dressed in jeans, jacket and rubber shoes that set off for his daily duties.

When he did not return in the evening, she called his cell phone which went unanswered and none of his friends could tell her where he was.

She reported his disappearance at the Kisauni Police Station where officers begun to look for Munyeri but are yet to give her any feedback on their search.

“It was a difficult period for me. Effects of the post-election chaos were felt in Kisauni where people were killing each other along tribal and political lines. My son’s shop was also broken into and this threw me into a life of poverty,” she says.

A few months later, Njeri was evicted from her rental house because she could not raise rent money and she was forced to travel to Nakuru where she now lives with well-wishers. She survives by taking on casual jobs like cleaning clothes, baby sitting and weeding.

Like any other parent who wishes well for her child, the elderly woman is looking forward to re-uniting with her son. She remembers Munyeri as an obedient, loving and caring son who took good care of her and had promised to continue providing for her at her old age.

“According to our cultural believes, the first born child is the family’s pillar and he stands with his family no matter the cost. My son’s loss has caused me to become depressed and I long for the day we will re-unite,” she says.

She says Munyeri was very close to her and he was the only person she found peace while sharing her challenges with since he would find a quick solution. He had promised to buy her a parcel of land and put up a house for her.

Njeri says although there are no leads, she still says a prayer each morning and before going to sleep asking God to shield her son wherever he is also prays to be reunited before her death.

“I still believe that Munyeri is alive. I think he may have been abducted by someone with ill-intent or he may have travelled to a different region. I yearn for the day he will knock at my door. I will welcome him with a broad smile,” she says.

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