On Friday, October 11, the family of Mariam Kighenda and Amanda Mutheu got closure after bodies of their kin were retrieved from the belly of the Indian Ocean.
Speaking to members of the press, Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna stated the bodies of the deceased would be handed over to the police by the military so that due process can be followed.
Oguna added that the family would be given time to conduct prayers privately, after officers from Kenya Navy conduct a special military mass for the departed.
The entire exercise was a multiagency effort conducted by officers from the Kenya Ferry Services, Police and Navy. 8 divers from South Africa had joined the search and retrieval operation and left the country after they located the car.
Earlier on, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and Kenya Maritime Authority took statements from top Kenya Ferry Services officials to determine any criminal culpability following the September 29 tragedy.
In a brief interview with NTV, the family spokesperson Luka Mbati explained that though they had cried for days, they were thankful that at least they’d get to bury their loved ones. “Kama nilivyosema, tushalia mpaka machozi yakaisha lakini huzuni bado iko (As I said earlier on, we cried until we run out of tears but nonetheless, we are still sad) “
The operation was however hit by a series of obstacles and mixed efforts from the government and private divers over the last 12 days. Efforts to retrieve them for the past near two weeks had been met with a number of setbacks among them lack of advanced equipment.
Mariam and Amanda’s kindred were present at the scene waiting with bated breath for the bodies of their loved ones.
Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho was at the scene accompanied by top government officials and the Kenya Navy commander, to show support for the process and the deceased’s family.
Residents of Mombasa were not to be left behind, as they took to the sidelines to bear witness to the retrieval. Others opted to take to and fro rides on the ferry to ensure they did not miss out on the action.