Boni community mourns civilian killed in Baure IED attack

The police car that hit a landmine in Lamu leaving eight people dead, May 31, 2017. FILE/ PHOTO.

Lamu, KENYA: Members of the Boni minority community in Basuba Ward in Lamu East are mourning one of their own Khalid Famau Mujahid,the civilian killed alongside seven security officers following an IED attack in Baure area in Lamu East on Wednesday morning.

Two KDF officers who responded to the attack also lost their lives to yet a different IED attack as they rushed to help bring the total death toll in the incident to nine.

The IED is suspected to have been planted by Alshabaab militants.

Mujahid 32,a known volunteer philanthropist was a Madrassa and ECDE teacher at Mangai.

The deceased is described by the community as an honest man who was born in Kiunga but migrated to Mangai village in Basuba ward at a tender age where he lived peacefully with the Bonis and even married two wives from the community.

Mujahid despite being a Bajuni by birth is said to have quickly mastered the Boni language and after over 20 years of mingling with the Aweer community,the Bonis declared him one of their own.

For a community that has felt marginalized and left out,Mujahid had become the voice of the Boni people always reaching out on their behalf to have various services and attention brought to the community.

He was one of the first Registered Community Health Volunteers-CHV for over 15 years and in that capacity used to arrange and mobilize annual medical camps from the county government of Lamu for the people of Basuba.

He is said to have stepped and temporarily manned the Mangai dispensary after it was attacked and vandalized by Alshabaab militants in June 2015.

Mujahid was also an active chairperson of the Disaster Committee managed by the county government.

“He really fought to secure clean water from river Mangai for the Boni community during the recent drought spell in the county where he contracted water boozers towards the channels of river Mangai to secure clean water for the people of Kiunga and Basuba,”said Shee Kupi of the county government of Lamu.

He is also a renowned staunch environmentalist who knowing its value to the Boni people,stood firm in protecting the Boni forest in Basuba.

Mujahid will also be remembered for being an efficient language translator on pertinent issues facing the Boni community whenever need arose.

The death of Mujahid has dealt a blow to the Bonis who were entirely depending on the late for many services.

Meanwhile, the Boni community want the government to involve them in the ongoing security operation inside the Boni forest dubbed Linda Boni saying they are well versed with all corners of the forest and will make it easy for the security officers to flush out Alshabaab militants said to be hiding within.

“You we have lived in this forest for decades and no one knows it better than we do and the soldiers,even with all their training will find it hardf to navigate.All we want is for them to ask for our help because we know,our input will definitely make a difference,” said Doza Dizo.

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