After a gruelling 13 days of waiting, the vehicle that slipped into the Indian Ocean with two victims on board has been retrieved.
The vehicle retrieval on Friday afternoon came with a mix of emotions as Kenyans mourned Miriam Kighenda and her daughter Amanda Mutheu, who perished in the sunken car, and lamented on the government’s lack of ability to appropriately respond to disasters.
The bodies of Mariam and her daughter retrieved at last. I'm happy and sad at the same time. Happy that their bodies have been found and their family can rest ease. Sad that it took this long to retrieve their bodies, and more sad that they had to die. #LikoniFerry pic.twitter.com/DEsporKqZI
— Victor Mochere (@VictorMochere) October 11, 2019
Nairobi Governor, Mike Sonko, was among the first leaders to share news of the vehicle retrieval success, writing “Asante Mungu (thanks to God) we have seen your miracle…”
Asante Mungu we have seen your miracle..To all parties involved in the retrieval, men and women who have never slept…
Posted by Mike Sonko. on Friday, 11 October 2019
Many of his followers, however, were of a different opinion.
“This is not a miracle at all. Total failure by the government and the Kenya Ferry Service to put measures to prevent such calamities from happening. This is a tragedy that could have been avoided completely. Rescue services should be on site in case of anything. Life jackets and floaters also provided in plenty on the ferries.Its sad that this is what the common mwananchi is exposed to. Neglect!!!!” wrote one Alys Mumbua in response to Governor Sonko’s post.
Other Kenyans expressed their sympathy for Kighenda and Mutheu, trying to picture their dying moments in the Ocean.
“Not easy to see your daughter dying and crying for help and nothing you can do…coz you are also dying ..till we meet again rip…” sympathised one Simo Cool.
“Still hurts that their lives could have been saved, but they sunk while the world watched helplessly since our rescue agencies are poorly equipped..God’s grace to the family as they bury their remains ,” lamented one Joseph Waitimu on social media.
Others expressed bitterness on the fact that foreigners and civilians had to be engaged to make the operation a success.
We give 80% thanks to the south Africa divers, 28% to any civilian helped in any way, and the remaining 2% to kenya navy. We’ve known how incompetent Kenya very is, no praise. #LikoniFerry pic.twitter.com/5ZKtKZADx9
— Mwambalustephen (@mwambalustephen) October 11, 2019
The accident captured the attention of Kenyans especially since it was recorded while happening. Kenyans from the Coast have been camping at the Likoni Channel while the rest of Kenya has been following the rescue efforts on different media platforms.
Below are more reactions by other angry Kenyans:
Watching the #LikoniFerry Tragedy wreck retrieval live pictures and I can't help but note our inefficiency!!
90% of the crew are just busybodies contributing zero to the mission at hand. Its no wonder it takes years complete simple projects.
— Mumbison (@Mumbison1) October 11, 2019
They are retrieving dead bodies. What's the navy celebrating? #LikoniFerry pic.twitter.com/Ma4KKrTLAd
— KM (@km_dennis) October 11, 2019
Is there a conspiracy behind Mariam Kighenda's Tragedy at Likoni ?Have we been given the full story ?? I still feel there is more to this …. #LikoniFerry pic.twitter.com/7eLnsMcR7X
— LincolnsKE™️🇰🇪 (@LincolnsKE) October 11, 2019