The Kiambaa Church is something the country wishes to forget but it never goes away.When one looks for information on the church online, an image of an old woman standing next to burnt building, crying in agony and grief,both hands raised in the air in surrender with one carrying a shoe, comes up.She is Elizabeth Wangoi.The name Kiambaa has been associated with horror and terror in politics which was witnessed in 2007/ 2008.
Elizabeth Wangoi fell into depression,developing high blood pressure and suddenly became mad, often losing memory after what she experienced on that fateful day , when youths armed with arrows, machetes and other crude weapons reigned terror on people they had been neighbors with for decades. Wangoi, 83, died on Saturday at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH).
According to her relatives, Wangoi had gone to the church to check on her son Kimunya who she suspected had been trapped in the fire. Kimunya would survive the inferno with burns that left his arms weak.
Wangoi’s nephew Philip Gakuha said her house with sat on a half-acre farm in Kiambaa had just been burnt by a mob.Over 40 people were killed from that single attack.
“My aunt had been raped by the youths and her son was burning inside a Church. Things would never be the same again for her. She started developing high blood pressure, depression and suddenly became mad, often losing memory,” he said.
Even though the government pledged to support Elizabeth Wangoi, she is among the victims of Post Election Violence promised Sh 400,000 which has never been paid.
“After surviving the fire she was taken to an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp. But in a resilient move, she chose to go back to her farm to start life again but she was unable to due to her health. She became dependent on relatives as she had lost everything,” said Philip adding that she had been promised Sh400,000 as compensation for the losses.
”We went to Nairobi three times to seek for the compensation but no one was willing to listen to us.”
The family now is grappling with a bill of Sh 240, 000 at the MTRH and is appealing to well wishers as well as the government to help them in settling it so as to give Wanguoi a decent send off.