Joint requiem mass for the four police

Written By Michael Maunda on Monday, June 18, 2012 | 1:25 PM

A joint requiem mass for the four police officers who died in a plane crash last week was held on Monday at the Holy Family Basilica, Nairobi.

The mass for Captain Nancy Gituanja, Captain Luke Oyugi, Sergeant Thomas Murimi and Inspector Joshua ole Tonkei was presided over by the Reverend Bishop Philip Anyolo.

Bishop Anyolo regretted that the four died a very violent death but said that they died in the service of God.

“An accident in the service of God is not a failure on our part,” he told the mass.

The mass was attended by the Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Public Service boss Francis Kimemia, Commissioner of Police Mathew Iteere, among others. 

Mr Odinga said that the names of the team appointed to investigate the crash would be gazetted on Tuesday and promised that a thorough probe would be conducted to unravel the incidents that led to the crash in Ngong Forest.

Mr Musyoka said that the government would come up with a policy to compensate family members of the officers who lose lives in line of duty. 

“The government will ensure that a policy is put in place to ensure that officers who die while on duty are taken care of. Their children should not cut short their education because the father or mother is gone,” Mr Musyoka said.

Mr Iteere praised the officers whom he described as dedicated. “They were dedicated and that is why they rose through the ranks.”

A sombre mood engulfed the Holy Family Basilica as friends, colleagues and relatives trooped in to pay their last respects. 

No one was allowed to view the bodies, which were returned to the Lee Funeral Home, except Sergeant Murimi’s which was taken to his rural home for burial.

Captain Oyugi’s body will be transported to Banana, Siaya County, on Wednesday for burial on Thursday. 

Captain Gatuanja, the fourth born in a family of seven, was married and had three children.
Her mother described her death as a big blow to the family, which depended on her. 

Locals described her as generous, saying that she used to assist in the construction of schools and churches in her region. 

Also present at the mass were her children: Sharon Njambi, Diana Njoki, and Wesley Gitau. Her body leaves for Kiiri village in Muranga County today for burial. 

The late sergeant Thomas Motatiro Murimi joined the Kenya police service in 1994 and served at both the GSU and the Presidential Escort Unit. 

He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant a week before the fatal crash.

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