Mourners in Norway Remembers Singer Stella Mwangi’s Dad
As police release the man suspected of running down Stella Mwangi’s father, a tribute was held in his memory today.
Friends, family, and others gathered at the Norwegian Red Cross’ premises in Oslo to remember the 54-year-old at the memorial organized by the Kenyan Association in Norway.
Leader Fredrick Makosir told Dagbladet, “It’s a normal tribute without pomposity. They [his family] have lost a loved one in the worst possible way. It’s a tragedy. He was a good father figure who stood by the family’s side no matter how tough things were for him. He made sure the children were well-integrated without forgetting where they come from.”
Jeff Mwangi Kwirikia, father to Nairobi-born Norway Eurovision 2011 semi-finalist Stella Mwangi, died instantly after he was hit by a van in Akerhus County, Tuesday.
Initially a hit-and-run, the 39-year-old driver subsequently turned himself in to police two days later. He was indicted for manslaughter in connection with the incident. Officers started examining the van and premises after he showed them where it was parked.
The man has since admitted striking Mr Kwirikia with his vehicle but denies he is guilty of the charges. He was remanded in custody, Friday.
According to his defence counsel, Jørun Lægland, “The fact that a person is dead and that it is because he was hit by the car my client driving does not imply that there has been a punishable offence.”
Romerike District Police’s Jon Aga also informed NRK that the driver stated he did not have time to avoid the cyclist even though he was driving below the speed limit.
Officers had requested he be kept in custody for a week due to fear he may destroy evidence. Whilst their initial appeal against his release succeeded following the court’s ruling, he was let out of custody at the weekend.
“The accused has given officers another statement,” said Morten Huse of Ullensaker police on Saturday, “we have also conducted further witness interviews. His [the accused’s] explanation is largely consistent with other information pertaining to the case.”
Romerikes Blad reports approximately 100 people were present at today’s memorial containing music and pictures from Mr Kwirikia’s life. There were also several speeches, before the ‘Amazing Grace’ was played at the end of the tribute.
Mr Kwirikia’s funeral will be held in Ullensaker on Friday, after which he will be transported to Kenya for burial in keeping with his wishes.