Kenya: Family in Siaya Seeks Justice After Kin's Death in Puntland

15 August 2019

A family in Bondo, Siaya County is in grief after learning of the death of their son in Bosaso Port, the commercial capital of the autonomous Puntland State of Somalia, a region in northeastern Somalia.

The 41-year-old Kenyan identified by the family as Cosmas Joseph Owuor, who worked as a hotelier in port city, was reportedly shot dead by the hotel's security guard on Monday morning.

According to the slain man's father, 66-year-old Pius Ogweyo, the family received the information about the killing of his son through a phone call made to Mr Owuor widow by another Kenyan working at the same hotel.

SCANTY INFORMATION

"We have very scanty information about what exactly happened on that fateful Monday morning. We only understand that there was a small misunderstanding between my son and the gateman" he said.

The family was on Thursday making arrangements to have one representative travel to the country to help identify the body, now lying in one of the mortuaries in the port city.

The family has appealed to the government, through the Kenyan Embassy in Puntland, to help them bring back the body for burial in Grief Abwao village in Bondo.

HELP

"We are not able to raise the money to transport the body of our son back to the country. That is why we are asking the government to come to our aid," said the father.

Mr Ogweyo also appealed to the government to help the family get justice for his slain first born son.

"He has died under unclear circumstances in a foreign land. We have information from his former colleagues with whom he worked at the hotel that the man behind his shooting has been arrested and is being held by the Somali authorities," he said.

Speaking to the Nation by phone from Mombasa, Mr Owuor's widow Juliana Kimori said her husband had been working in Somaliland for four years now.

CONTRACT

"He was working on a six-month contract and at one point worked at a hotel in Kismayu," she said.

Married in 2004, they had three children, two girls and a boy.

The widow said she last spoke with her husband on Friday last week and he promised to send money to pay school fees for his two daughters this week ahead of reopening of schools next term.

"We spoke briefly and he was to send me some cash to pay the school fees balance this week. When I tried to reach him on Monday, his phone was switched off and later that evening I received the sad news about his demise," she said.

"He was the sole breadwinner in the family. I am a small scale trader at Kongowewa. His death is a big blow to me and the young children," she said.

NO WORD FROM EMPLOYER

The family is yet to get official communication from the Mr Owuor's employer and his widow said she has been relying on the updates provided by his friends and colleagues in Somaliland.

The widow claimed the employment agency based in Nairobi that linked her husband with the hotel has refused to help the family after the reports of the Monday cold-blooded murder came in.

AGENCY

"We got the contact of the agency and immediately we told the agent about the incident, he switched off the phone. Now they don't even answer our calls," she said.

Siaya County Commissioner Michael Ole Tialal advised the family to write to the Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary to request for help from the government.

"I have advised the father of the deceased who came to my office to write a request letter to the CS for Foreign Affairs through the principal secretary. They can deliver it directly to the PS or through my office," he said.

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