• PublishedJanuary 10, 2014

It’s painful when one witnesses a murder and then refuses to help with investigations. It’s even more painful when the killers just murder two young people and walk away without a clue on the motive of their action and still remain at large. These are the issues Lydia Kanene and her family are still grappling with, two years after the death of her daughter. She shared her painful experience with MWAURA MUIGANA.

“Purity wasn’t one to sit at home idle. She was raving to go and exhibited confidence to try her hand at anything. She took up a job in an Mpesa kiosk. She promised me that she would save all the money she earned, so that her elder sister, who had been home for a year due to financial challenges, could enroll in college. Purity was selfless and very committed to her family,” Lydia talks of her daughter adoringly.

On the morning of Tuesday, August 9, 2011, Purity was too eager to open the Mpesa shop that she didn’t wait for her mother to accompany her to work, though they used similar routes. In her excitement she seemed to have forgotten to bid her mother goodbye and retraced her steps to the house. “Bye mum, enjoy your day. I will see you in the evening,” Purity belted melodiously and walked out with a wide grin on her face.

Her energy, despite her petite body always mesmerised her mother. For some reason, Lydia didn’t call her daughter that day as was common and neither did Purity call her mother. The only communication traced on Purity’s phone that day was a lunch date with a former colleague scheduled for the following day.

On the fateful day at around 5.30 p.m. Purity’s boyfriend who worked at a hardware shop in Kitengela, a few metres away from the Mpesa kiosk purity worked in, went to pick her. The two had been friends for a long time and he was a frequent visitor to her home, having been introduced to Purity’s mother and siblings. He was to escort her home then proceed to his parent’s Isinya home. The duo walked for about 500 metres before two young men approached them. They seemed to have a conversation for about two minutes before what appeared to be a little commotion ensued.

What followed next was the sound of gunfire, which rent the air as one of the young men shot in the air probably to scare Purity and her boyfriend into some sort of submission. Purity is said to have panicked and probably to protect her boyfriend who could have been the target, made herself a human shield. She held her boyfriend and they stood face-to-face like Siamese twins. The assailant was determined and shot her through the back. The bullet tore through her body and ripped through her boyfriend and lodged in his body. The duo fell down unconscious bleeding profusely as the assailants fled.

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