• Sat. Oct 24th, 2020

Breakfast Gone Sour.


Sep 2, 2020

My son left to go for mandazi but he never returned,left with no goodbye…..

“I had never gone to most of those places; I wish I never had to. But if I went back in time, I would still use my last coin touring the end of the world in search of my son,” Wambui said on Sunday as we marked the Enforced Disappearances day. October 12th 2014 is a day that will forever be etched in her memory. She had requested her son Martin Ndung’u to go buy mandazi for breakfast for his daughter who is also Wambui’s granddaughter. They lived in Dandora and till date Wambui wishes she had gone to the shop herself.

In her childhood, Esther Wambui always prayed to tour the world, however, she now says if she knew she would have been more specific about her intention to travel. To Wambui her desire to travel the world is being fulfilled in an ironic way, she is not travelling to enjoy but she is doing so in hot pursuit for her long lost son. At the age of 58 she has been to at least 10 countries. Her visits entailed viewing corpses, some of them totally disfigured. She has spent many nights in the cold as she searched for her only son.

The fateful day Martin left holding his daughter’s hand to get the mandazi. It was too early and the neighborhood restaurant had not started cooking. As a result he requested the restaurant owner to keep watch on his daughter as he went to look for mandazi in another place. That was the last time the daughter saw her father. A probe had been parked outside the restaurant and there was a brief commotion before he was arrested, handcuffed and bundled into the car which took off immediately.

Wambui has made many attempts to follow up the disappearance of her son but to no avail. In some places she has even been physically abused in her pursuit of justice, seen countless dead bodies but no positive outcome. “I have moved from Nairobi to Kiambu, from Thika to Gatundu, to Machakos, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Embu, Nyeri, Naivasha, Gilgil to Narok. I have spent nights outside in the cold in foreign places. I have seen headless bodies, faceless heads. I have bribed morgue attendants to allow me search through piles of unidentified bodies, but Martin is not among them. He just disappeared,” she cried.

On Sunday, she looked at other people telling tales of how they lost their loved ones as the world marked the day for enforced disappearances. Enthusiastic and hopeful she begins telling her story sharing it but has always ended negatively. She is only left hoping to meet her son.

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