February 5, 2016

Dad searches for missing Garissa daughter

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Every day since the Garissa attack that left 147 people dead, Isaac Mutisya has been coming to Nairobi hoping that he will find his daughter.

But he has not found his daughter Risper Mutindi Kasyoka nor her body after 27 days.

Risper was a second-year business management student.

He has been to Chiromo Mortuary, the Kenyatta National Hospital and the National Disaster Management officers at Nyayo House.

But everyday, he returns home in Ndonguni Village in Nzambani, Kitui, disappointed. “It has not been easy going home to her mother and siblings with no news about her whereabouts. It has really taken a toll on us” Mr Mutisya says.

The high school teacher learnt about the April 2 attack through the head teacher of the school where he works.

“I did not go to class but instead started calling my daughter but she did not pick her calls. I kept trying over and over in vain.

“At around 5.30pm, her phone went off. I became more and more anxious as we followed the events through the media. Every time the Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery made a press briefing, my heart broke. It tore me apart” he said as he paused to recall the fateful day.

The next day, they went to Kenyatta National Hospital, where the injured were taken. “Of the 24 students at the hospital, my lovely Risper was nowhere to be found,” he said.

Mr Mutisya keeps referring to his daughter as ‘my lovely Risper’.

On April 2, as it had been announced through the media, families of those who were killed in the attack gathered at the Chiromo Mortuary, where the bodies were taken. Risper’s family was there even though her father was hoping for the best.

“We queued, and looked at the bodies one by one. At some point, we saw one body that we thought was be hers, but another family later claimed that body and fingerprints proved that it belonged to a different student called Nyokabi” he said.

Day after day, he visited the morgue, hoping that he will find her body.

He kept checking again and again, just to be sure that he had not made a mistake.

“Risper’s mother is depressed. She is really disturbed. She no longer eats or sleeps. She cries day and night” he said adding that the family no longer enjoys the happiness it used to have.


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