A family in Kakamega town in Western Kenya is in shock following revelations by a British TV that its firstborn could be the person whose body fell from a plane in London in June.
Sky TV Tuesday published a report that strongly indicated that Paul Manyasi, a worker at a cleaning services firm, may have been the stowaway, even as his father, Isaac Manyasi, said he is yet to get details of the news.
“No one has called to inform me of the death of my son from the time media people in the UK informed me about him,” he said yesterday.
Paul, who was 29, was a cleaner for Colnet Company at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi. He hailed from Namakara village, Malava, Constituency.
In an interview by a Sky News reporter, the cleaner’s girlfriend said Paul reported to work on the day but disappeared.
The reporter zeroed in on the former worker at Colnet after following a number of leads.
According to the report, a taxi driver called Kamau confided in the journalist that a cleaner from the company had gone missing.
Kamau’s hint led the journalist to Colnet, where an employee revealed that her colleague called Paul Manyasi had gone missing towards the end of June.
“We were at work in the morning and he vanished suddenly. I attempted to call him but the phone was switched off,” Paul’s colleague told the journalist.
According to her, the supervisor called all employees the following day and told them that one of them was missing though he was not sure who it was.
She added that the supervisor told them not to tell anybody until the identity of the missing worker had been known.
As the interview progressed, the report went on, it turned out that woman, whom the journalist called "Maureen" to protect her identity, and Manyasi were having an affair.
“I just feel like I have lost someone I loved very much,” Maureen told the reporter.
Manyasi stayed in Mukuru Kwa Njenga slum which is not far from the airport.
Armed with an e-fit photo produced by the London Metropolitan police and the images of Paul’s personal belongings which were found in the landing gear of the plane, the investigative journalist headed to western Kenya where he caught up with Maureen.
After taking a close look at the photo and the image of the bag found in the aircraft, she said Paul was definitely the stowaway.
While in Kakamega, the journalist traced Paul’s parents who were still distraught about the disappearance of their first born son.
“I don’t know where to start or end because his phone has been switched off,” Paul’s mother reportedly told the journalist.
From the photos, the two identified their son. According to the journalist, the elderly couple could not bear the pain on knowing that Paul had died after hiding in a plane.
Her only request is for the government and well-wishers to help her raise money to bring her son home so that he can have a decent burial, the report said.
Last month, British police released an e-fit photo of the stowaway hoping to have him identified and his family informed. Also released were images of his belongings, among them a Sh20 coin, a bag and a bottle.
“This has been a sad incident to investigate. This man has a family which needs to know what happened,” said DS Paul Grieves while releasing the images.
“Our investigations have included liaison with authorities in Kenya, where the flight originated. I hope by releasing this e-fit, someone known to the deceased will recognise him and make contact.”
Paul’s body is at a mortuary awaiting the conclusion of investigations, before a file is submitted to a South West London coroner and an inquest held.
Paul’s parents, his former roommate and girlfriend described him as jovial.
The parents, who rely on their one-acre piece of land, said they were hoping Paul would land a job and lift the family from poverty.
“I was happy when my son left the village to look for a job in Nairobi. I knew that once he got a job, he would help us and his siblings," the elderly Manyasi said.
Paul was the first born in a family of five.
He completed high school and travelled to Nairobi two years ago.
His first job was at Colnet after being linked there by his friend and room mate called Patrick.
Following the publication of the story, British police said its officers are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death and are taking steps to confirm the identity of the stowaway.
“Sky News has provided us with images of Paul Manyasi,” the Metropolitan Police Service said in a statement released by Chioma Dijeh, the media and communications manager.