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Husband of woman who drowned in Likoni ferry tragedy recalls last phone call

It has now emerged that John Wambua spoke to his wife Mariam Kighenda shortly after boarding the ferry. That was at around 6.15 pm, Sunday, September 29.

Kighenda and her last-born daughter Amanda Mutheu were from their family farm in Msambweni, Kwale County where they had gone to fetch vegetables as it was norm.

Wambua says he sometimes accompanies his wife but on that day he decided to remain behind and relax.

My wife had gone to fetch vegetables as she does on weekends. She called when she boarded the ferry and I knew she would be home soon,” a tearful Wambua said while speaking to journalists Monday.

Minutes later, he saw the news on social media nd he immediately tried calling her to no avail.

“I immediately attempted to call her but the call wasn’t going through,” he said.

He left the house in a huff and headed to Likoni police station where he confirmed that his wife of 13 years and daughter had drowned.

According to the Likoni OCPD Benjamin Rotich, the vehicle’s breaks failed and reversed just before the ferry docked.

It is appalling and painful to imagine that lives were lost in these very waters where the Kenya Navy are making patrols in preparation for Mashujaa Day which is almost a month away,” said Sheila Karembo, a family friend to the deceased.

The recovery operation has been hampered by lack of equipment with serious operation beginning on Tuesday, October 1, over 3o hrs after the accident.

On midday, Tuesday, Kenya Ferry Services MD Bakari Gowa announced that ferry operations had been halted to allow for the location and recovery of the wreckage and the bodies.

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