Kajiado plane crash: Tributes pour during KDF officers’ burial as residents defy Covid-19 protocols
Hundreds of Kamkata villagers in Mt Elgon constituency and Kimilili constituency Bungoma county ignored Covid-19 protocols while paying their last respects to the Kajiado plane crash Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers.
Tributes and emotions ran high as 35-years-old Sergent Stephen Omaran Omale and SSgt Noah Wanyonyi, who were killed in the June 24 helicopter crash in Ol Tepesi, Kajiado County, were buried.
Hundreds of friends, relatives, military workmates and local leaders led by Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa condoled with his family and praised the fallen soldier, saying he was a friendly, down to earth, hard-working and humble young man.
The funeral ceremony lasted for only two hours.
A section of people who attended the burial service could be seen walking and mingling freely without masks and also not observing social distance.
KDF said all the passengers aboard the Kenya Air Force helicopter Mi171E were accounted for, and that the officers were on a training mission when the incident occurred.
Wife to deceased SSgt Wanyonyi said that the death of her husband, who together they have six children, was a big blow to her.
"It’s still very hard to accept that you are no longer here. Every day I wake and see the cold empty space where you were to lie, the pain haunts me," she said. Alice Wanyonyi
She hopes that time will instead show her how to live with the pain.
She said that her husband was a peacemaker and the pillar of the family.
While the wife to deceased Sgt Stephen said he was an optimist with an ever-ready smile that always melted her heart.
She says he never lost hope even when he kept fighting in the ICU until his last breath.
"You were just not my husband but a life partner whom I will never find someone else to replace.
"Go well my husband, I promise you the great memories you've left with me, the precious children Myra and Reagan that I will always share with and raise them well, "she said amid tears.
His son Reagan said that his dad was the best dad he ever knew.
Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa said that he was in the military with the deceased who they related very well with.
Sergent Omale, who joined the army in 2007 was the only breadwinner in his family before he met his death along with 10 other colleagues. 13 were rescued from the chopper crash site in Kajiado.
The late suffered injuries and was rushed to defence forces memorial hospital where he succumbed while receiving medication.