US Diplomat Absconds After Killing a Man in Fatal Accident


A state department spokeswoman said the US embassy pictured extends its deepest condolences Al Jazeera

Somalilandsun – An American diplomat in Nairobi who killed a Kenyan father of three in a car crash while speeding in his SUV was rushed out of the country by US embassy officials, Kenyan officials said.

Citing police, Kenyan officials said the diplomat crossed the centre line in his car and rammed into a full mini-bus in the capital, killing Haji Lukindo, and seriously wounding eight other passengers.

The injured were left with no financial assistance to pay for hospital bills while the six months pregnant widow, Latifah Naiman Mariki, had no money for her husband’s funeral.

Mariki, 38, was almost evicted from her house this week after her landlord demanded rent.

Mariki’s husband was the family’s only source of income. Mariki told the Associated Press news agency that neither the US driver nor anyone at the US embassy has contacted her.

She said she did not know how she would provide for her soon-to-be-born child and three children, aged 20, 10 and 7.

‘Basic needs’

“It is difficult for me to handle this matter because my kids need to go to school. They need everything, basic needs,” Mariki said.

“And we have no place to stay because we have to pay the rent. We have no money … Even if my kids are sick I have no money to take them to hospital.”

Hilary Renner, a State Department spokeswoman in Washington, said the embassy extends its deepest condolences Mariki’s family and wishes those injured a speedy recovery.

She said she could not comment on whether the embassy employee would return to Kenya.

“The embassy is fully cooperating with the Kenyan authorities as they investigate the accident and work to aid the victims,” she said.

The US driver, Joshua Walde, was an information management officer at the Nairobi embassy when he got in the crash on his way home on the evening of July 11.

He gave a statement to police but because he has diplomatic immunity he was not detained.

Shortly after the crash, Walde updated his work history on the networking site LinkedIn to put his time in Nairobi in the past tense, from July 2012 to July 2013.

After the Facebook group of Kenyan mothers that took up Mariki’s case this week noticed the updated resume and pointed to that as evidence that Walde would not return to face charges or help victims, the LinkedIn account was deleted, though a cached version is still available through Google.

Walde’s wife circulated an email to sell a family vehicle and try to find new work locations for the family’s nanny and gardener after the crash.

AP sent an email to Walde’s wife on Thursday asking if the family wanted to comment. No response was sent.

Source: AP and Al Jazeera