Tributes pour in for two killed in protests

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Rex Kanyike. (Courtesy)

 During the ongoing protests rejecting the Finance Bill 2024, two energetic young men unfortunately lost their lives. Rex Kanyike (29), succumbed to a gunshot wound in his thigh while Evans Kiratu (21), was hit by a tear gas canister during the protest. The protests were mostly led by Kenyan Gen Z and despite being peaceful and orderly, teargas and water canons were deployed liberally by police.

The family of Evans Kiratu spoke on Citizen TV and his aunt stated that her nephew lost his life in hospital even before she could see him. “We are demanding justice for my nephew,” she said. In a statement, Ernest Cornel ,a spokesperson at the Kenya Human Rights Commission stated, "He was rushed to hospital at around 6 p.m. on Thursday and died there. It is tragic that a young person can lose his life simply for agitating against the high cost of living.”

Rex Kanyike was fatally shot during the night stretch of the protest in Nairobi town. This tragic loss has angered Kenyans and netizens who have stood in one voice in condemning the police for applying unnecessary force during a peaceful demonstration.

Kenyans took to X and other Social Media Platforms and raised over Sh2Million. The fundraiser was started on M-CHANGA Africa  with the aim being to Sh2million but Kenyans surpassed this target by raising an extra Sh733,759 in lieu of supporting the families of the two young men.

In the M-CHANGA Africa description for the fund raising of Rex and Evans, it read:

“Rex and Evans supported us with everything they had ,now it’s our turn to support their families.”

The families also shared their sentiments on the platform of their loved ones.

 

 Tributes from family and friends

 Rex Kanyike Masai

“My son was a calm and jovial boy. When l used to call him, we would laugh a lot. He never made enemies. He was a dreamer. He studied Surveying but after failing to get a job, he moved out of the family home to start his own life.

He would call me to ask for fare or food money whenever his daily hustles didn't work out. We would laugh about how he didn’t have a wife, or any money, but I'd still send him the money.” Chrispin Odawa, (Dad)

“I will miss his joviality, he was always happy, and he was very open with other people. He was a giver. A good boy. Among his friends, he was known as a generous person. When he had money, he would support his friends.

He loved peace, and was obedient. At his age, I would still send him to do house chores. I never received complaints about his behavior. Even my friends regarded him as their son. If he made a mistake, he would ask for forgiveness.

I was like his pastor, because if he earned 35,000 shillings, he'd send me 10,000 as his tithe. I will remember him for his generosity” - Gillian Munyao, (Mum) 

 

Evans Kiratu

Evans Kiratu was only 21 years old when he met his untimely death, fighting for a better Kenya. He was doing a plumbing course and was currently on attachment. He hails from Kiambu, and he had moved out of his parents’ home just a month ago.

The fundraising still continue as Kenyans await their respective burials. The money raised will be divided equally .Scores were also injured during the protests and volunteer medical teams attended to them. The protests will continue until the end of the week with millennials and Gen Zs uniting in one voice, “REJECT FINANCE BILL 2O24”. We are hoping there will be no more deaths and casualties.

 

 

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