Kenya: Insurance Claim for Car in Likoni Tragedy Settled

15 October 2019

As plans to retrieve a vehicle that plunged into the Indian Ocean in the Likoni channel in Mombasa were underway, Mr John Wambua was busy working to secure the insurance payouts for his car, it has emerged.

When the Nation was grieving, a week after the car carrying Mariam Kighenda and her daughter Amanda Mutheu sank, Mr Wambua contacted his agent to follow up on his comprehensive insurance that had covered his car.

The vehicle plunged into the ocean after it slid off ferry MV Harambee on September 29. Kighenda was from her farm in Gasi, Msambweni, Kwale County, and was heading home when the tragedy occurred.

On Monday, Mayfair Insurance Company's Mombasa branch manager Priya Shah revealed that the claim was made on October 7.

"We are here to condole with the family of Mr Wambua and also hand over the cheque of the insurance claim he had made," said Ms Shah when she visited Mr Wambua's house in Tudor.

INVESTIGATIONS

The Nation has established that Mr Wambua received a cheque for Sh682,500 from the insurer for his vehicle, registration number KCB 289C.

Mr Wambua contacted his agent Smartlink Insurance Agency instructing it to follow up on his insurance cover with Mayfair.

Since Mr Wambua was the claimant, Smartlink Insurance Agency director Ruth Mwende said it only took a week to process it.

On Saturday, a day after the vehicle was retrieved, officials from Mayfair inspected the car and processed the cheque.

The vehicle was retrieved on Friday last week after a 13-day search that involved a multi-agency team of divers, including privately hired ones from SubSea, a South African company.

The car was taken out of the sea and put at Mbaraki Wharf. It is worth noting that by the time the insurance claim was made, police had not started their investigations into the incident.

INSPECTION COMPLETED

Police have so far questioned seven people, including the ferry's coxswain, two deckhand officials, a ramp controller and two guards from Guard Force.

The seven recorded their statements with Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officers at Likoni Police Station. Sources said the detectives had completed inspecting the vehicle.

This comes even as Mr Wambua expressed frustrations that police had delayed the post-mortem examinations that were scheduled for Monday.

Mr Wambua said that though the family had hired their own pathologist, the police had insisted on including a government pathologist, who, by last evening, had not arrived.

"The burial is being delayed because of the autopsy. I have been at the police station the whole day and up to now we have not seen the government pathologist," he said.

The victims will be buried in Mung'ala village, Makueni County.

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