Grieving Msando widow sends tearful message to husband’s killers
A mothers’ tears were the highlight of a memorial service held on Saturday to mark a year since the mysterious death of Mr Chris Msando, who was the ICT director of the electoral commission.
Mr Msando was killed a few days to last year’s General Election.
His widow, Mrs Eva Buyu, shed tears in church as she opened up on the struggles of single-handedly raising their four children.
“One day, we will sing,” she said to her mother-in-law before the crowd gathered at Christ the King Catholic Church in Embakasi.
“One day, we will say it. But now, I cannot say it is well. It is not.”
Directing her remarks at her husband’s killers, she said their day of reckoning would come.
“I know you are still watching. I know you could probably be in here; but I know you will still watch. What I can tell you, and I will still tell you: you will keep killing. But how many will you kill?” she posed.
Tears also welled in the eyes of Mr Msando’s mother, Mary, outside the church as she showed the media letters she had written to ambassadors of the US and UK, asking for help in solving the puzzle of her son’s death.
In a January 28 letter to the US embassy, she pleaded: “We are now seeking for independent intervention of international investigators who had offered to help to unravel the killers of Chris.”
And in a January 29 letter to the British High Commissioner, she said: “We are disappointed at the slow pace this investigation has taken, with no one being prosecuted so far for this heinous crime. The release of the suspects so far arrested has dampened our spirits.”
Both US Ambassador Robert Godec and British High Commissioner Nic Hailey had replied with a similar message: that they had offered to help investigate the murder but were not welcome by the government.
“The UK stands with you in your quest for justice for your son,” Mr Hailey stated in his February 14 letter.
“I share your concerns about the slow pace of investigation, and I have also asked for an update on the status of the investigation,” replied Mr Godec in a February 23 letter.
Inside the church, the distraught 79-year-old mother also spoke on the death of Mr Msando.
“For the past one year, I have not left his grave. I’ve been there,” she said in a statement read by her daughter Pamela.
“Kenya has kept quiet, the church has kept quiet, everyone who is involved has kept quiet. I have not kept quiet as the mother. I have been pained and I have been taking relevant steps quietly to see that justice is served to my son,” added the mother.
The slow pace of investigation was the clarion call of the Mr Msando family, and his elder brother Tom mentioned the release of Mr Msando’s car as one of the puzzling things in the probe.
“I remember going to look for his car at the DCI headquarters and we were told by the police that they were still using it to investigate,” he told the Sunday Nation outside the church. “Then the car was released without any word. That’s where we are. Nothing good has happened so far.”
“We leave it to the government and probably hope and pray that we will get closure. But it’s been one year of anguish,” said the widow.
Saturday’s memorial service was attended by Mr Msando’s family, friends, politicians and human rights activists.
Politicians spoke after the Mass and asked that Mr Msando’s death be included in the “Building Bridges” initiative started by President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
TORTURED AND MURDERED
“As the initiative continues, let the first bridge be built at the doorstep of Mr Chris Msando, so that President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga extend an olive branch to family members of Mr Msando,” said Embakasi East MP Babu Owino.
Orange Democratic Movement secretary-general Edwin Sifuna said: “We want you to extend a handshake to Eva and her children … We celebrate Mr Msando as a hero because we know the people who tortured him before murdering him were after something.”
Also present at the function was Mr George Kegoro, the executive director of the Kenya Human Rights Commission.
Hours before the memorial, Dr Roselyn Akombe, a former commissioner with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), had weighed in on the impact of Mr Msando’s death.
“It is one year but our questions on who brutally tortured and murdered Chris linger on. It is clear, though, that the trajectory of the 2017 elections would not have been the same if you were alive Chris. We shall never forget,” she tweeted.
Her message echoed the many tributes written on books outside the church, where Mr Msando’s friends and relatives wrote their messages.
“It is incomprehensible that the family has not been told anything one year after the burial of a person who was eliminated in the most inhuman manner,” said Mr Msando’s nephew, Mr Jacob Oduor.