Could it be that opportunists are capitalizing on the death of a Kenyan in the Diaspora?
A Kenyan daily is reporting that a family in Makueni has asked the county government and well-wishers to help them raise funds to fly in the body of their kin who was shot dead in the US. This even after over $30,000 was raised last weekend to cater for the funeral expenses, including airlifting the body to Kenya for burial.
The kin in question is Mike Mulwa Ngangi whose death shocked the Kenyan community in the US two weeks ago.
The Standard media Group, a leading Kenyan media house, reported Friday that besides the county government being asked to save the situation, a leading comedian was also simultaneously planning another major fundraiser in Nairobi.
We could not immediately establish who had authorised those fundraisers as Mulwa’s wife had not been consulted over the same.
In Makueni, his father Ngangi Mutuku is quoted as saying that the burden of raising over Sh2.5 million for airlifting the body to Kenya was too much for his family. “I only have two cows which cannot be sold to even cater for the burial of my son, I request friends and well-wishers to come forward and help us,” The Standard quoted Mr Mutuku as saying.
The paper also reported that celebrated Kenyan comedian Churchil (real name Daniel Ndambuki) has organised a fundraising slated for June 21 at Nairobi’s Garden square, outside Kenyatta International convention Center (KICC) to help raise money towards burial arrangements.
Now, some observers are wary that opportunists may be capitalizing on the tragedy for personal gain.
“It is easy to take advantage of a situation like this and hoodwink the public,” said Scholastica Muema.
“What was raised in Atlanta was more than enough unless kuna agenda ingine ambayo hatujui,” she added.
On Twitter, John Mukuria wondered: How can we be too sure the whole family is reading from the same script on this? Too suspicious for my liking!
Howeve Juliankn writes on Instagram: “I really don’t think it is any of our business. May be these people are smarter than us and we should respect that. It is high time Kenyans learnt to mind their own business.,,Hata wakifanya harambee kumi bora hawanitoi pesa mfukoni.”
Mulwa’s body lies at West Cobb funeral home off Macland Road in Marietta, Georgia and is set to be transported any day next week.
Family and friends held a memorial service on June 10 at the Kenyan American Community Church in Marietta, Georgia, where hundreds turned up to pay their last respects. A fundraiser was held and they raised $25,000 (Sh2,588,750) while a gofundme account helped raise over $6,800.
Watch the video below courtesy of a local Atlanta TV station, WSBTV:
Mike, 29, was killed in Alabama, a southern US state, earlier this month. Police in Birmingham have since arrested his assailant, Chandler Bryant, 18, and charged him with capital murder. Bryant has been denied bond.
Until his death, Mr Mulwa was living in Atlanta and worked in Alabama. He was shot in the chest on June 3 at 11pm at the Citgo Gas Station, where he was the proprietor. According to his cousin, Eric Sukulu, the father of two was rushed to the University of Alabama Hospital in Birmingham where he succumbed to the single gunshot wound.
Police who responded to the alarm concluded robbery was involved. Mulwa was the co-owner of the #254 skill-wear fashion brand and the 254 clothing label, a popular brand among Kenyans living in the US, especially in Dallas, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia.
Mulwa was on phone with a friend on the fateful night when a man walked into the gas station, recounted Mr Sukulu. “From the witness account, Mike had identified the intruder as the one who had robbed him the previous night. One of his friends had even posted a message Mike sent him about the suspect on Facebook,” he said.
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