In Summary
  • “Our husbands don’t sleep in the prison nor do they sleep at home. They sleep in the bush because they fear the attackers will return and kill them,” they said.
  • “It’s not safe on our farm and we better stay here despite the odds. My first born is in Form Three at Mpeketoni Secondary School and I have to farm so that his studies and those of his siblings are not interrupted,” Ms Misingo, 38, said.

It is late Saturday evening and Mr Godfrey Wanjema Waruingi, 46, and his wife Mary Wambui, 34, are making their way to Hindi Prison in Lamu County to spend the night there.

The family stops at the heavily guarded gate to be screened by armed wardens and are only allowed in on producing their national identity cards.

They are accompanied by their first-born Faith Ngina, 12, and their one-year-old Margaret Nyawira, their second child.

As they walk down a dusty road leading them to a big hall that has become a common rest area, Mr Waruingi narrates how life has changed for his family since the July 5 attacks at Hindi Kibiboni area that left 12 people dead.

“It’s terrible, but what can we do. We only have two choices. Remain on our farm and risk our lives or sleep on the floor of this hall for our safety,” Mr Waruingi told the Sunday Nation.
Every day, the family covers a distance of five kilometres from their home to the prison and back early in the morning.

Their journey to the prison starts at around 3 p.m. so that they can be at the prison’s gate by 5 p.m. for the screening.

They should be out of the prison by 5 a.m. So the Waruingis and other families have to hang around Hindi trading centre for a while until sunrise.

“It’s a tedious cycle. When we get to the house, I have to prepare breakfast and then lunch-cum-supper for my family,” said Wambui, adding that the situation does not allow them to enjoy three meals a day meal like before.

The couple’s neighbour, Mr Stephen Kang’ethe, was killed in the attack two weeks ago and was laid to rest on Saturday. His injured son Samuel Kimani, 24, is recuperating at Kenyatta National Hospital.

“We are just from burying Kang’ethe at his farm, and we don’t wish to meet the same fate. For now we will stay here until security is guaranteed,” said Mr Waruingi.  

The father of two moved into the area in 1990 from Kiambu and lived there briefly and then went to work in Kericho until 2007 when the 2007/08 post-election violence displaced him.

“I have six brothers and four sisters. Our parents were among the first upcountry settlers to move to Mpeketoni. Some of my brothers and I moved to live in Hindi, butmake if this situation persists, I might go elsewhere,” he said.

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