UNSOLVED VARSITY MURDERS!
Herma Too is a graduate student at the university of central Missouri perusing a master of art degree in mass communication.She is guest blogging for the Show Me Justice Film Festival as part of a project for her Media Promotions course.She advocates for gender equality and minority rights.
Over the last two months the Kenyan media has been a buzz over the murder of a university student Sharon Otieno. The strange tale starts with the discovery of Sharon’s lifeless body by Mr Moses Ongili, a peasant farmer from Ogero village in Homa Bay County.
Sharon is one among a number of Kenyan women who have died under mysterious circumstances and their deaths linked to their romantic relationships with either Kenyan politicians or the haves.
The most disturbing thing about it is ,the fact that majority of these cases end up as either cold cases or unsolved, as the public eye and law enforcement turns a deaf ear to the cries of the souls that were taken too early.This is a trend that developed several decades ago yet no changes have been made to ensure justice for the victims.
In 2011 what promised to be a night of fun and debauchery for Mercy Keino ended tragically. Her disfigured body was found on Waiyaki Way the next morning. Her head was smashed in and she had multiple fractures and bruises. At 6:30 pm the day before, Mercy and her cousin had arrived at Wasini Apartments on Church Road, Westlands. A resident, Maurice Mihango, was hosting a high-profile house party that included among others, the then Juja MP William Kabogo.
Mercy, a light drinker, settled on wine and whisky cocktail. As the alcohol kicked in, she became rowdy, broke glasses, and disturbed the party. She was ejected but stormed back in, this time incurring the wrath of the politician. He slapped her, and then she was carried outside by his bodyguards. When she was ejected again, she ran towards Waiyaki Way. That is the last time anyone ever saw her alive.
She died sometime after that, most likely after being hit by a car on the busy highway. At the ensuing public inquest, one witness claimed he had seen a lady waving down cars at roughly the same spot Mercy’s body was later found. She could have staggered onto the road right in front of a speeding car. Injured or dead, she would then have been run over by several other cars.
A second theory, which roped in William Kabogo, suggested that she might have been killed elsewhere and her body then dumped on the road. One of the first policemen on the site noted the absence of a blood trail that would support the first theory. Another witness said she had seen a Mercedes stop and drop off a human body. The public inquest ended without any solid conclusions.
On the morning of St. Valentine’s Day 2012, Careen Chepchumba’s brother used his key to access her apartment at Santonia Court, off Kirichwa Road. She had been incommunicado since February 12th. In the bedroom, he saw her in bed, tidily covered with a bed sheet. There was music playing from a laptop placed on the bedside table. Nothing looked amiss. Except that Careen had been dead for 18 hours.
Careen, a 26-year-old engineer and employee of Kenya Power, had not reported to work at 8 am February 13th. Instead, she called a colleague and said she would be in by 11 am. But she never made it. Someone raped or had consensual sex with Careen between 8 am and 12 noon of February 13th. He then strangled her before covering her up neatly and walking out undetected.
There was a handwritten note on the table that read: “I wish they would let me do my way. Even if we were not together, you are still in my heart. You will still remain so dear to me Louis.”
The only Louis known in Careen’s life was Louis Otieno, a celebrity broadcast news presenter. Careen and Louis met when the latter moved into moved to the ground floor flat at Rose Park apartments in Kilimani in 2011. Her family claimed the two began dating shortly after, and Louis started extorting money from Careen to fund his lavish lifestyle. Hosea Kili, Chepchumba’s father, often repeated that Careen had incurred debts amounting to KShs. 3 million to fund her new relationship. The day before her death, she had gone to her family and asked for help. Her father agreed to pay, and Careen’s brother took her home at 9pm.
Louis said their’s had been a close friendship but not a sexual one. During the investigations, he readily gave samples of his DNA and biological evidence for comparison. He implied that Careen’s father was overbearing and that she often alluded to physical and sexual abuse at home.Louis Otieno was never formally charged and Careen’s murder remains an open case.
Dear Kenyans,stand up to injustice and bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice. Do not allow power dynamics to come in the way of justice.When will you say No to injustice?