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Engineer reveals Likoni Ferry yet to be repaired since tragic death of mother & daughter

Faulty prow blamed for the deaths of Mariam Kighenda and her 4-year-old daughter Amanda in 2019 yet to be repaired

Retrieval of the Likoni tragedy vehicle on Friday. [Source/Mwalimu/Twitter]

The tragic death of Mariam Kighenda and her four-year-old daughter Amanda Mutheu on September 29, 2019 has been blamed on a faulty prow on the MV Harambee ferry. A prow is the front part of a boat or ship.

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The revelation was made in open court by Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) senior officials who said that the faulty prow failed to provide buoyancy for the vessel during the loading of vehicles and passengers hence leading to Kighenda's car plunging into the Indian ocean.

“I cannot say that MV Harambee was in good condition. Its prows could not be lifted. They were just set above the water level,” revealed Kennedy Mukhebu, a KFS engineer.

Mukhebu confirmed that he was on the trip when Kighenda's vehicle slipped off the ferry as he appeared before Mombasa Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku.

The engineer further dismissed reports that the accident was caused by ocean turbulence citing a list of defects in the ferry he presented to the management as evidence of the faulty ferry.

KFS Managing Director Bakari Gowa not only reiterated what Mukhebu told the court, but also blamed a lack of funds as main reason why the management failed to repair MV Harambee.

“As much as general operations of the KFS is my responsibility, my hands are tied if there are no funds. It is the engineering unit that is responsible but I take responsibility for the operations within the facility,” said Gowa.

When asked why there has been numerous ferry incidents in the last decade, Gowa defended himself by stating that previous management had failed to deal with the challenges affecting KFS before he took over the reigns of power. Prior to his appointment in 2016, Gowa had served as the company's finance manager.

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