On May 5 this year, Enock Irungu Mukoshi officially introduced his future wife to his parents in the village of Ebukhai in the locality of Eshisiru, in the central sub-county of Kakamega.
Irungu, 30, had previously visited her fiance’s parents and plans were underway for the bride’s dowry to be paid before their wedding to celebrate the union in August this year.
“My son told me he wanted us to meet with his future in-laws for bride price negotiations that would lead to a wedding in August.
“We were very happy as parents and wished Irungu and his girlfriend long before he returned to his workplace in Lamu,” said Charles Mukoshi.
It was the last day that Irungu’s parents saw him alive.
Irungu was a policeman, who first worked in Runyenjes sub-county for at least a year before joining the National Intelligent Service (NIS) and moved to Lamu County as an intelligence officer there. is four years old.
He was among eight Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) soldiers reportedly killed after their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device (IED) in the Baure area of Lamu west along the Bodhei – Kiunga road on Tuesday.
Officers were traveling from Baure camp in a Land Cruiser to the Kenya-Somalia border where a security wall is being built.
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“My son died on Tuesday while on duty, but we have not received any official communication from the government regarding his death.
“It was thanks to his friends that we learned on the fateful day at around 8 pm that he was among the KDF soldiers killed in the explosion,” Mukoshi said.
The father-of-three said his son’s body was airlifted to Nairobi alongside the other seven and is being kept at the Chiromo morgue pending the autopsy (conducted on Friday), but immediate families were not informed.
“We don’t know why the government is taking too long to make an official communication to the affected families so that we can start preparing for the burial,” Mukoshi said.
Agnès Khayange said she was called by her son a few hours before his death.
“He called to let me know he was going to have the operation and his phone would be turned off, we agreed to talk later today,” the distraught mother said.
Khayange said she was unaware that the brief conversation would be the last between her and Irungu.
“My son died a painful death defending the country and it has put a lot of pain in my heart since he was my last born. My “smiling machine” is gone.
“Since his birth, Irungu wanted to become a policeman or a soldier and at one point, while he was at Masinde Muliro University, he postponed his classes (a diploma in criminology) and went to training in Kiganjo and after fainting, he returned to finish his degree, ”Khayange said.
The parents said they had high hopes and expectations for their son.
“I thought to myself that he (Irungu) would rise through the ranks and become an influential figure based on his career progression, unfortunately death cut his dreams short,” Khayange said.
Irungu called his mother at least three times a day, sometimes seeking advice and on other occasions just teasing her.
“I loved my son and he loved me more. He was like a cornerstone in my life and now he’s gone. I pray to God for the strength to overcome grief, ”the mother said.
Baure and Sang’uri, near the Somali border, are believed to be among the most dangerous areas in Boni Forest, where soldiers suspect landmines have been planted by opponents of the border wall under construction.
Since 2014, when Operation Linda Boni was launched, several soldiers and police have lost their lives in similar IED attacks blamed on Jeshi la Ayman, an Al Shabaab terrorist group.
The border between Kenya and Somalia has remained porous, making it easy for Islamist militants to launch terrorist attacks in the country.
In 2015, the government first revealed it was erecting a wall on sections of Kenya’s border with Somalia to fight Al Shabaab.
The wall is being erected along sections of the border near the coast, and it will prevent illegal immigrants from Somalia, including the Al Shabaab militia.