He’s not our son, Kakamega family disowns stowaway

Thursday, November 14th, 2019 00:00 |
Isaac Beti and his wife Janet Khakali who have disowned media reports alleging that they are parents of Paul Manyasi, a stowaway who plunged to death in a London neighbourhood in June this year. PD/DOUGLAS DINDI

 By Douglas Dindi

 The authenticity of an investigative story by an international media house that revealed the identity of a stowaway who plunged to death from a London-bound KQ plane in June was yesterday cast into doubt after the family of the man disowned the story.

Instead, the family claimed that their son was in a Kenyan remand after failing to raise Sh200,000 bail for a defilement charge.

The family of Cedric Shivonje Isaac refuted claims that the man identified in the story by Sky News as Paul Manyasi is their son and the story amounts to a fabrication.

“I talked to Cedric last night from his remand custody. In fact, he was the one who called to break the news to me that he was trending on social media as the stowaway who had died,” Janet Khakali Isaac, Cedric’s mother told the People Daily in an interview at her home in Makhwavuye village, Matioli sub-location in Kakamega north sub- county.

 This came even as Kenya Airports Authority and Colnet Limited Kenya, the firm that had allegedly employed the man as a cleaner issued separate statements saying that Manyasi was not its employee.

Access pass

“The identity of the stowaway is an open and active investigation and any information received will be investigated to ensure a factual conclusion,” said a statement from KAA.

KAA further claimed that the name Paul Manyasi does not appear in the  JKIA staff register nor is it included in the Airport Pass Bio Metric Register. “All staff working in the airport require an access pass. The name Paul Manyasi does not appear in the Airport Pass Bio Metric Register,” KAA added.

Colnet Limited managing partner Chege Kariuki said their employees working at the airport require a special pass, issued after screening by KAA.

“There are records of the passes issued and all Colnet employees are accounted for without failure at the end of every shift and we can confirm without doubt that we don’t have, and have never had Paul Manyasi as an employee,” he said.

Kariuki further added: “Colnet is aware of the incident by way of fact that there were investigations carried out on the stowaway incident and the company has provided its employees’ record and information to the investigative authorities which confirm that there is no employee by the name Paul Manyasi.” 

But speaking to journalists at her home, Khakali said her son Cedric was arrested in August and charged with defilement. He was granted bond of Sh200,000 but the family was not able to raise the surety as such he was remanded at the Industrial Area Prison in Nairobi since then.  

Khakali  claimed the media distorted the information they collected from the family when they visited the home on October 22. 

“They came here posing as ordinary people, enquired about Paul Manyasi and showed us some photos of the deceased, a bag, snickers and inner-wear and asked if we could identify them but we could not do so,” she said.

Khakali was yesterday at a loss over the reports that her son was involved in the accident and appealed to the government to undertake thorough investigations to establish the truth.

“As a family, the reports have made us distraught. In fact, my husband, who has been trying to raise the Sh200,000 to bail out our son is disturbed. He had decided to sell part of our land to raise the money,” said Khakali.

She claimed  that the reporters, who included two Caucasians and three Africans,  asked for an archive photograph of  their son, took photos of her husband, Isaac Beti and herself as well as those of their home and left.

Distorted information

Khakali claimed the media distorted the information they collected from the family when they visited the home on October 22. 

“They came here posing as ordinary people, enquired about Paul Manyasi and showed us some photos of the deceased, a bag, snickers and inner wear and asked if we could identify them, of which we denied.”

Khakali said  that her son is Cedrick Shivonje and not Paul Manyasi as was extensively reported by Sky TV. She claimed that the reporters decided to fix the name Manyasi on the picture of Shivonje, that they had collected from the homestead when they visited in October.

When the People Daily visited the home, Beti who was identified in the story as Isaac Manyasi had already left for Butali market to look for casual work. A neighbour Ben Shizukane said the entire village has  no family that goes by the name Manyasi and neither is any man called Isaac Manyasi.

Asked to identify the photographs of her and Isaac used in the media reports, Janet confirmed they belong to them, save for the names. Sky News in an exclusive investigative segment , reported that “Isaac Manyasi,” was the father of the late stowaway Paul Manyasi. 

In the interview, Isaac is said to have told Sky News that he had not heard from his son Paul for a long time.

 Isaac further noted that his own son was known as Cedric Isaac Shivonje and not Paul as widely reported. 

Yesterday, Janet admitted that Cedric has not visited the home since 2017 when he relocated to Nairobi to pursue a teaching job as untrained teacher.

Cedric, 24 is the first born the Beti family that includes sister Shalin Luvutse, 21, Brian Beti, 18, and Elvis Sikolia 11. 

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