Anyang’ Nyong’o’s brother whose body remains trapped at the Likoni channel

Diver claims there are more than 10 cars rusting at the sea bed

Anyang’ Nyong’o’s brother, Charles Anam Nyong'o, whose body remains trapped at the Likoni channel

As the country focuses on the rescue operation meant to retrieve bodies of a woman and her child who drowned at the Likoni ferry, the incident will also be reopening wounds for many families whose relatives died and were never recovered at the notorious channel.

Divers have spent that past three days attempting to locate and retrieve the bodies of 35-year-old woman, Mariam Kigenda and her daughter Amanda Mutheu who were trapped in a vehicle that accidentally reversed and fell into the ferry while aboard MV Harambee.

One of the divers, identified as Musa, told the media that the two bodies were only some of the many others that have been trapped in the deep waters.

The diver claimed that there more than ten cars that were rusting at the sea bed. The ferry management has little capacity to carry out underwater rescues with most of the accidents (and in some cases suicides) going unreported and unresolved.

The family of Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o is among those who are likely to suffer re-opened wounds from the events at the Likoni Ferry.

One night in 1980, Nyong’o’s younger brother, Charles Anam Nyong’o was accosted by suspected members of the Special Branch while crossing the Likoni Ferry.

A witness would later tell the family that Charles was thrown off the ferry but his body has never been recovered – 39 years on.

My brother disappeared in 1980. It was a very difficult time politically… Even now, no information has come to light. I know he was on a ferry in Mombasa and witnesses who I managed to talk to told me clearly that it was not an accident and he had been attacked and pushed off the ferry. But the witnesses were too terrified to testify to the police.

He was working for Esso at a time when I was in bad books with the Nyayo dictatorship. He was investigating theft at Esso when he stepped on important people’s toes…When I called for a public enquiry, (dreaded police reservist) Patrick Shaw told me: ‘be careful lest what happened to him happens to you,” Nyong’o said in a past interview.

The now Kisumu county boss was at some point forced to flee to political exile after unknown individuals attempted to assassinate him by poisoning his drink at the time he was investigating his brother’s disappearance.

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