18 April 2019

Kenya: Pain of Grief, Tears As Ivy Wangechi Buried in Nyeri

Slain Moi University medical student Ivy Wangechi was buried yesterday in an emotional ceremony at her parents' rural home in Mahiga, Nyeri County.

A sombre mood engulfed Mahiga village in Othaya when the hearse carrying Ms Wangechi's body pulled up. Mourners dressed in black with green scarfs around their shoulders moved to carry the white casket.

The 25-year-old was killed by a childhood friend-turned-stalker at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret on April 9 using an axe and a knife.

Family and friends eulogised the final year student as a dedicated doctor to-be. She was termed as a jovial person with an infectious laughter, beautiful and intelligent.

Her mother, Ms Winfred King'ori, was beyond comfort as she was overwhelmed with grief. Dressed in green wailed as she gazed at her daughter's casket with relatives sorrounding her.

She mourned the end of the relationship they had saying: "I am at a loss. It is so sad that you have left us." her mother said.

Ms Wangechi's sister and brother are now left with memories of their time together to treasure.

"I never thought I would lose you and it remains unreal. I do not know how to take up the role of first born and I do not think I am ready for it," her sister Cheryl Githui said.

Hundreds of Moi University students attended the funeral with a mixture of grief and anger written on their faces.

They eulogised their slain colleague as a brilliant student who had left a mark and a gap to fill.

"The last few days have not been the same because you have left a void in the medical school. We shall always remember you," read a tribute by the Moi University students.

Politicians at the funeral used the platform to push for the reintroduction of the Computer and Cybercrime Act.

Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua said had the High Court ruled in favour of the legislation, it would have dealt with the cyber bullying that followed Ivy's murder.

"Social media should be kind and reasonable. People on social media should know they are human beings too and they could be in similar circumstances anytime and they would want to be treated with kindness," said Mr Gachagua.

The leaders told the youth at the funeral that failed relationships were part of life and they should take it in stride.

"If a girl rejects you and you kill her; you're a coward and a useless member of the society," noted the MP.

Other leaders present included Othaya MP Gichuki Mugambi, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, Nyeri Woman Rep Rahab Mukami and her Murang'a counterpart Sabina Chege and a host of MCAs.

Meanwhile, Kikuyu elders held prayers and rituals following the increase in cases of domestic violence and crimes of passion.

The Kikuyu Council of Elders held the cleansing ceremony under a fig tree in Mt Kenya Forest as Ms Wangechi's burial went on.

The elders raised concerns over the killings noting an increase in moral degradation among the youth as well as a neglect of parental duties by most parents and elders.

"Our youth are troubled and lost and that is why they think it is okay to injure and kill each other. The elders are not guiding them as they should," elder Mathenge wa Iregi said.

Kenya

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