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‘Beautiful memories you left, remain fresh,’ family buries dirt of ET302 flight victim



Belongings of the passengers who were on the Ethiopian airline ET 302

A family in Makueni on Saturday buried 1kg charred soil to symbolise the remains of Ann Mukui who died in the Ethiopian plane crash on March 10.

They decided to bury soil after Ethiopian authorities said victims were burnt beyond recognition and that tests to identify body parts could take at least six months.

The plane crashed a few minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa on its way to Nairobi. All the 157 people on board, including crew, died.

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On Saturday, a sombre mood engulfed Mbata village as family, relatives and friends gathered for Mukui’s final send off. Each family that lost a loved one was given a 1kg sack of burned earth to bury.

The soil that symbolised Mukui’s remains was packed in a small casket of 12 by six inches. Six Catholic priests from Consolata Shrines in the Dioceses of Nairobi presided over the burial.

Close family members, including her husband Simon Munyao and children, broke down in tears at the sight of the casket.

Mukui was eulogised as a devoted Christian who valued every hour of her life.

She left behind three children Monica Mutheu, Raphael Muuo and Mary Mwende aged seven, three and one, respectively.

Mutheu said her mother was loving and often taught them the value of education.

She inspired them by her works in the church, Mutheu said.

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The Standard 2 pupil at Oshwal Academy in Nairobi was assisted by Teresa Mutheu, her friend in reading the euology. Mutheu was Teresa’s guardian.

“Mum, I shall always cherish and treasure the values and virtues you taught me. I will always be careful to practise them,” Mutheu said.

“The beautiful memories you left behind will always remain fresh in every moment of my life, you were truly a mother to me. It’s truly hard to say bye, farewell, shine on in heaven until we meet again, amen,” she read amid sobs.

Munyao said his wife was hardworking and often balanced her time for work, family and service to God.

Mukui was working with TechSoup Global when she died. Her mother-in-law, Magdalene Katumbi said she was a source of inspiration to the family.

“Anyone who interacted with her can testify my daughter was committed to service in the church and in the community,” Katumbi said.

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