Kenya: UK Media Reveals Identity of Kenyan Stowaway Who Fell From KQ Plane in London

Passengers alight from a Kenya Airways aircraft (file photo).
12 November 2019

British media house Sky News has identified the Kenyan stowaway who fell from a Kenya Airways plane that was destined for London in June.

Police responded on June 30 to reports that a body had been found in a garden at Offerton Road, Clapham, south London after it fell from the landing compartment of a Kenya Airways plane about to land at the Heathrow Airport.

Following the discovery of the body, which had no identification documents, the KQ aircraft was inspected and a bag with food and clothes was discovered at the rear left landing gear.

But Sky News, in a compelling investigative piece, has identified the Kenyan stowaway as Paul Manyasi, who worked as a cleaner for Colnet, one of companies providing services to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

Sky News says it reached out to a number of current and former Colnet staff and met several of them, including a woman named Irene (not her real name), who revealed that her colleague and lover went missing at the end of June.

"The last time I saw him, we were at work, he suddenly disappeared, nobody knows where he went," she said.

Irene was quoted the UK media house as confirming they were a couple and even planned to get married.

Irene disclosed that on June 30 she was assigned to clean inside the passenger terminal while Paul was to handle the area outside but he was nowhere to be seen at the end of the shift.

"I called his phone and it was off. When we came in the morning the following day the supervisor called us and told us there is somebody missing. [The supervisor had told them] We are not sure of the person so we keep it a secret until we know the person."

The two had been in a relationship for two years and she described Paul as a nice and jovial person.

"I just liked him the way he was. We had agreed one day maybe we could make a family. I just feel like I lost someone who I loved so much - yes, I miss him," she told Sky News.

Paul lived in Makuru Kwa Njenga, according to Irene and he shared a room with a man called Patrick, who narrated to Sky News how he connected his roommate with the job at Colnet, but he dreamt of bigger and better things.

"There was another job Paul was seeking. It was not in Kenya... He wanted to leave Kenya," he is quoted saying.

Irene would later identify the strap bag that had the distinctive lettering 'MCA' written onto it.

"Yes, this bag is his," she confirmed.

MCA (Member of the County Assembly) was Paul's nickname and he liked it.

Sky News followed the story to Kakamega County and met his father Isaac Manyasi, who revealed to their African correspondent John Sparks that Paul was his eldest son and he and his wife Janet last heard from him at the beginning of July.

Paul's parents are quoted telling the UK media house that no one had contacted them on the demise of their son but were quick to add that they could not afford to bring his body back home for burial.

"Let him stay [in the UK]. Those are too many expenses. Soil is just soil," the father was quoted saying.

In October, London police had said a postmortem examination of the man's body, then believed to have been in his 30s, revealed the cause of death as multiple injuries.

Detective Sergeant Paul Graves, of the South Central Command Unit, said: "We have pursued a number of lines of inquiry in what has been a very sad incident to investigate. This man has a family somewhere who needs to know what has happened to their loved one."

Graves added that their probe had included liaising with the Kenyan authorities but their efforts to establish his identify had been futile.

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