Point Fortin MP calls for calm as tension mounts over Kimani’s death

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Point Fortin MP Kennedy Richards Jr is calling for calm as tension mounts in Techier Village, Point Fortin over the tragic circumstances in which two-year-old Kimani Francis lost his life.

Many villagers have blamed the child’s mother and the neighbour who last saw him alive on Monday morning. Kimani’s body was found in the Guapo River, Point Fortin on Tuesday morning.

In an interview with Newsday, Richards said no good can come out of finger-pointing and accusations. He asked Constituents to await the autopsy and let the police investigation take its course.

Pyschaitrist and Independent Senator Dr Varma Deyalsingh, who also spoke to Newsday, said, “The gossip and innuendoes are unfortunate, but this is how persons process tragic events.

“Our mind tries to fill in gaps of why this occurred and we create different narratives.”Deyalsingh said the same crowd which gathered as a community to rescue the toddler, have now transcended into a mob, venting their anger on the mother and neighbour.

He said those two women would be experiencing different levels of grief as they and the community hold fast to the belief that they failed baby Kimani.

“The death of a child is one of the most painful events that a parent can experience and is linked to complicated/traumatic grief reactions or lasting grief.

“The neighbour may also experience guilt and depressive reaction as well as anxiety in persons accosting her.”

What is needed now, he said, is for the community to move on, repair that fracture and work out some mechanism to protect all children in their community.

“The Prime Minister said it right, we should be our brother’s keeper and look out for one another,” Deyalsingh said when asked about lessons that can be learnt from the tragedy.

“We failed as a community to protect our own, especially a vulnerable little boy, and must now band together to be proactive.

Besides community responsibility, Deyalsingh said this event should be a reminder that “being a parent is a greatest privilege, but comes with heavy responsibility.”

“In the past few weeks we have been seeing rising tragedies involving accidental deaths of children. We have not been getting time to exhale with these deaths.

“These (tragedies) bring accumulative grief, fear and anxiety for our own young ones, and anger, often directing blame to someone.

Reports are that the child’s mother, Kimberly Charles was not aware he had left their Tenth Street Techier Extension home, until the police came knocking after receiving a call from the neighbour who last saw him alive.

That event sparked extensive air and land searches by national security, hunters groups and villagers, in rivers and oil installations in the Heritage-owned site, as well as in the Guapo river which became Kimani’s watery grave.

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