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September 23, 2020
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A tribute, and the Un-told Story behind the gruesome murder of a Kenya Navy soldier in Mtongwe, Likoni.

When asked how he’d like to die, Peter Dinklage – an American actor best known for his starring role as the intelligent, book-ish Dwarf in the epic series Game of Thrones, he doesn’t hesitate. He has a dream way to die. Not beheaded for some alleged treason. Not bleed to death after a stabbing in a dingy bar fight over some wench.

“How would you like to die, Tyrion son of Tywin?”

“In my own bed, with a belly full of wine and a maiden’s mouth around my c**k, at the age of eighty.” He replies.

That’s the philosophy lots of people wrap their dying ideals around, if that’s a thing.

Githinji (standing), hanging out at the beach with a friend in an undated photo.
Githinji (standing), hanging out at the beach with a friend in an undated photo.

This is a piece to honor and remember the late Cpl David Githinji Mwangi, a good-natured, happy-go-lucky Kenya Navy soldier, formerly based at Mtongwe Base. Most sailors at the base would agree their departed comrade wasn’t exactly a fan of Tyrion Lannister, but would largely share his desired dying ideals.

The worst The Grim Reaper would have served a soldier would, perhaps, have been a heroic death at the frontline – with a chance to defend himself.

Githinji, popularly known as Man Gidi, wouldn’t have envisioned departing in a gruesome, horrifying death at the hands of a ruthless gang. For a soul known for an outgoing mien and generous hand at the tipple, it’s hard to figure out what inspired such a ruthless attack – torture, hacking with machetes and finally set ablaze.

He was discovered early Sunday morning, 11th August, 2019 – burnt to death at an abandoned house in the sprawling Mtongwe Settlement. He was laid to rest on Saturday 17th, at his rural home. Githinji is survived by one child.

An un-dated file image of Cpl Githinji (middle) with colleagues, in the crispy white Naval working dress.
An un-dated file image of Cpl Githinji (middle) with colleagues, in the crispy white Naval working dress.

The departed sailor had served diligently for 12 years as a Technician onboard Kenya Navy vessels, and as a foot soldier along some of the most volatile parts of the Kenyan coastline. He has been a popular figure at Kiunga, the insurgent-infused coastal settlement on the Kenya-Somali border.

Following the grapevine, unverified reports gives a hint of something sinister – his death may have to it more than meets the eye. There’s been alleged tension between a Kenya Navy patrol unit – of which Cpl Githinji has been a member, and the local Administration Police base. This had arisen a few weeks back after the naval patrol unit had apparently accosted an AP constable (with his family) at late hours, on his way home.

The AP constable’s larger family had pledged revenge, for what they had termed ‘humiliation’.

It’s then unfortunate, that the deceased, Man Gidi, had been seen as the ‘softest target’, as he liked visiting and hanging out with friends at local liquor dens.

In the aftermath, an AP policeman is said to have sustained injuries, alongside other area residents after the soldiers launched an operation seeking the killers of their comrade. They are currently making statements at the Likoni Police Station.

As investigations proceed, led by Mombasa DCI, comrades are struggling to come to terms with the departure of an affable man, so full of life and good intent. The question no one seems to find an answer to is just how unhuman his killers could be, as the deceased was generally a gentle soul, averse to violence.

Fare Thee Well, Man Gidi.

Un-dated image, hanging out with friends
Un-dated image, hanging out with friends

 

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