As security forces receive accolades for quick response during the Dusit D2 Complex terror attack on Tuesday at 14 Riverside drive, a family in Kimala village in Taveta sub-county is mourning the loss of their son, the only security officer killed during the brutal attack.
Japheth Ndunguja, 26, a General Service Unit (GSU) officer was shot in the wee hours of Wednesday morning moments before the hotel was declared safe. He died shortly afterwards.
According to the sister Ms. Hellen Jumapili, the two had communicated on Tuesday evening before he was deployed to back up the ongoing security operation at the hotel.
She invited him to her home for a visit and he promised to go on Wednesday morning after his shift was over.
“He told me he had a hunch he might be deployed to help at hotel that night but promised to come the following day,” she said tearfully. That turned out to be their last conversation.
On Wednesday morning, she called her brother but his phone did not go through. Jumapili concluded he had switched it off to avoid disturbance while he rested.
Her worried parents called and asked her to find out if her brother was safe. Her frantic search kicked off and she called his friends but they said they didn’t know his whereabouts.
Her parents would later call and break the devastating news of her brother’s death.
“They were informed of his death by the area chief and they called me,” she said. She confessed that she was close to her brother who was the last born in the family. She termed her brother as hardworking, committed to work and very loyal.
The officer’s body is lying at Kenyatta University mortuary awaiting postmortem.
Family members say he had already bought building materials and was planning to take his annual leave to go and build his house.
The late Ngunguja joined the force in 2016.
Taveta MP Dr. Naomi Shaaban termed the death as a blow to the country as the officer died protecting innocent lives. She added it was more tragic because the officer was a young man in his prime with a promising future.
“We are all devastated by his death but also very proud of what he did for his country. That is the hallmark of heroes,” said the legislator.
By Wagema Mwangi