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Esther never wanted us to lack anything -- assault victim's sister.

Dubai For 31 days, assault victim Esther Wanjiru Mwikamba battled for her life at the intensive care unit of Rashid Hospital. But, the Kenyan national succumbed to head injuries at 8am yesterday.

A former sales clerk, Esther was in a coma for one month after being brutally assaulted by a man in a car park in Dubai. The case is now in public prosecution.

The suspect, a 24-year-old Emirati, who remains in custody, would be charged with beating which led to death, the maximum punishment for which is a 10-year jail term, a prosecutor told Gulf News yesterday morning.

"We were informed about the victim's death earlier this morning. I have ordered that her body be moved to Dubai Police's forensic department for an autopsy to determine the main and official causes of the death. We will still wait for the results of the autopsy and forensic reports.

"The suspect, A.A.G., remains in custody and he has not been granted bail since the incident took place. He is currently being questioned over two charges: beating which led to death and sexually harassing the victim's friend," the investigating prosecutor, who requested to remain unnamed, said.

Shock to the family

The news of Esther's death came as a shock to the family, especially since Hannah, her mother, had suffered a minor stroke on Saturday upon learning that doctors could no longer save her.

Lucy, the victim's younger sister, has been holding it together since she arrived in Dubai in February to take care of Esther. But, yesterday morning's call was the hardest to take, she said.

"They just called me in the morning, "Come quickly, come, Esther's dying," Lucy told Gulf News, fighting back her tears. "But, I arrived two minutes late. She died at 8am."

Despite the heartache caused by her elder sister's death, Lucy managed a smile. "It's all right. She's [Esther] very tired; I know she's very tired. At least now, she has peace," Lucy said. "But to me, she's still alive."

Esther, the eldest and the sole breadwinner of the family, leaves behind three siblings and her parents. Lucy said she would never forget her generosity.

"In her heart, she is generous, humble. Life has changed for us because she put me through college. She put my small sister through high school. She has always taken care of us. She never wanted us to lack anything."

Even in the most mundane matters, Esther would give in to their simple wishes, especially to her youngest sister, Catherine.

"I remember Catherine and she would call and tell her "I need to do my hair, I need to do this, I need brush," ...then she'd send money like 5,000 Kenyan shillings to fix her hair that actually only costs 1,500. Yeah, that's Esther," Lucy said.

"She is my role model. And I have always wanted to be like her EoACAycause she's nice, she's smart, she's everything. And she's always supporting us and taking care of us," she added.

Meanwhile, scores of Kenyan nationals visited the Mwikamba family at Rashid Hospital yesterday to offer their prayers and condolences. Kenya Ambassador to the UAE Mohammad Abdo Jillo also paid Hannah and Lucy a visit along with Kenyan community leaders from the UAE.

"We are here to condole with the family together with the Kenyan community. In the present circumstances, Esther's mum is in the hospital. Now that the mum is here, the decision to repatriate the body rests on the family. Our job is only to facilitate the repatriation," he added.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor told Gulf News: "When the case was first referred to Bur Dubai Prosecution, the suspect was primarily charged with assault that led to injury, and sexual harassment. However, the situation has developed following the girl's demise. The suspect will now be questioned over beating which led to death, and sexual harassment. Assault which led to death is a major crime that is punishable by the Federal Penal CodeEoACA* the maximum punishment could go up to 10 years in jail."

Murder not premeditated

When asked whether the suspect had any intention to kill the victim, the prosecutor said it is a case of beating which led to death and "not a premeditated murder". He said investigation is ongoing.

Lucy said she is waiting for Hannah's condition to improve. Once everything is settled, she said they would leave the UAE and head back home.

She is my role model. And I have always wanted to be like her EoACAycause she's nice, she's smart, she's everything. And she's always supporting us and taking care of us."


Esther's sister

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Article Details
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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Mar 21, 2012
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