24 October 2017

Kenya: Vero Was On a Job Hunting Mission When Chopper Crashed in Lake - Family

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The female occupant in the ill-fated chopper that crashed in Lake Nakuru on Saturday was a fresh graduate from Rift Valley Institute of Science and Technology.

Veronica Muthoni, 22, had finished a certificate course in Catering in 2016 and was on a job hunting mission in Nakuru town before she met her death, according to her family.

The details emerged on Monday as the rescue team comprised of the Kenya Navy, Kenya Police, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forest Service officers and other divers continued searching for bodies of the five occupants of the chopper.

When the Nairobi News visited Ms Muthoni's home on Monday, family and friends were still coming to terms with the loss.

DEEPLY DEVASTATED

Her mother Jane Gachuki deeply devastated sat in one corner of their house in Kabatini village.

Meanwhile relatives tried to console her over the loss of her firstborn daughter.

She could not grant an interview.

Ms Muthoni's father David Gachuki, who was equally shocked, told Nairobi News that a day before her death, he had a conversation with his daughter.

She disclosed that she would be attending President Uhuru Kenyatta's campaign rally in Narok the following day.

The firstborn daughter in a family of three was part of a youth group that has been campaigning for President Kenyatta in the South Rift region.

"We did not know if she was in the chopper until her friend told us that she was to travel to the Narok rally by air," the father said.

REACH HER

He added that the family continuously made phone calls but could not reach her.

As news filtered through that two bodies had been found on Monday afternoon, friends and family trickled into Ms Muthoni's home worry and despair all written on their faces.

Bahati Member of Parliament Kimani Ngunjiri also visited Ms Muthoni's home in Kabatini ward and condoled with her family.

The lawmaker described Ms Muthoni as a jovial, amiable and kind youngster who had a bright future adding that her death shook her family and friends.

He insisted that the rumours propagated on social media about the happenings of that night were inaccurate.

"A lot has been said about the previous night but I want you to ignore that until a full investigation is carried out about the incident," urged Mr Ngunjiri.

ACADEMIC JOURNEY

He said that he personally knew the family and the girl and added that he had contributed greatly to her academic journey.

"Muthoni went to RVIST through the Constituency Development Fund and afterwards she went to a driving school through further funding from the kitty. We are very saddened by her loss," said the MP.

He maintained that the government was aiding the rescue team to retrieve the bodies of the victims in order to enable families of the victims to accord them a dignified send-off.

The campaign chopper had five people on board, including three members of Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika's communication team --Sam Gitau, John Mapozi and Anthony Kipyegon -- and Ms Muthoni as well as the pilot, Apollo Malowa.

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