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November 15, 2018

Sharon's family speaks as Obado denies part in her murder

Friends and relatives comfort Melida Auma at her home in Magare village, Homa Bay Town constituency, Wednesday September 5, 2018. /ROBERT OMOLLO
Friends and relatives comfort Melida Auma at her home in Magare village, Homa Bay Town constituency, Wednesday September 5, 2018. /ROBERT OMOLLO

The family of slain university student Sharon Otieno has demanded swift justice for her killers after police arrested the personal assistant to Migori governor Okoth Obado.

The family accused Governor Obado and his personal assistant, Michael Oyamo, of masterminding Sharon’s murder after she refused to abort a pregnancy.

But Obado’s communications director Nicholas Anyuor dismissed the claim, saying the family could not prove it.

The body of the 26-year old second-year Rongo University student was found at Kodera forest in Kasipul constituency on Tuesday evening.

Read: Varsity student abducted with Nation journalist found dead in Kodera forest

She had been abducted in Rongo town, Migori, on Monday night alongside Nation journalist Barack Oduor who escaped by jumping from the speeding car.

Her body was ripped with multiple cuts and could barely be identified.

Family members and villagers who had thronged their home on Wednesday morning charged Obado with complicity in the killing.

Sharon’s father, Douglas Zacharia Otieno, and mother Melida Auma claimed Migori governor Okoth Obado and his personal assistant, Michael Oyamo, were responsible.

Melida, a teacher at Rabango Primary School in Rangwe, narrated the love relationship, which the governor had with her first-born daughter.

She said the governor wanted her to abort her pregnancy but they advised her against it since it was in its seventh month.

"She told us about her pregnancy and the person behind it. I told her not to abort because it could result in many complications," Melida said.

According to Melida, her refusal to abort led to disagreement between Sharon and Obado.

Melida said she realised that her daughter’s life was in danger after she began changing mobile phones to avoid being tracked by her friends who had turned enemies.

"I asked her why she frequently changed mobile lines and she told me she was being threatened because she had refused to abort the pregnancy,” she added.  

Read: Kenyans seek justice for murdered varsity student Sharon Otieno

But Anyuor defended Obado against the accusations. He said Auma spoke out of anger and was responding to "pressure from some quarters". He said the governor was “very shocked when he learnt about this incident in the media.”

"They can’t prove the pregnancy belonged to the governor," he said.

He said there was no way the county chief could be linked to the murder and dismissed the claims as a political scheme to malign Obado.

"If Oyamo participated in the abduction, why associate it with the governor?" he asked.

But Melida linked Obado and his personal assistant Oyamo because of the conversations they had with her daughter about him.

Melida said she had followed conversation between the governor and her daughter over county government tender awards and alluded to several meetings between her daughter, the governor and Oyamo.

She recalled a meeting in which Sharon left home early morning about two weeks ago to meet the “governor’s people” in Nairobi.  Sharon flew to Nairobi from Kisumu airport and returned home the same day.

"Sharon told me she was boarding a plane to Nairobi and the journey was sponsored by the governor.  I later realised that she received money for the trip through Oyamo," Melida said.

On Monday evening when Sharon was abducted in Rongo town, she called her and told her she was going to Rongo to meet Oyamo briefly and return later.

"She told me the objective of the journey was to discuss how the county government would award her a tender," Melida said, adding that she was surprised Sharon had decided to leave home late.

"Sharon had never demonstrated a habit of staying outside home beyond 7pm," she said.

This prompted her to call again at 8pm only to find her phone was off. "I was worried," Melida said.

Sharon’s father, Otieno, said, "I went to Rachuonyo hospital mortuary and identified my daughter after being called by police. We are calling for justice in this matter."

Sharon was pregnant with her second baby. She joined university last year but was forced to defer her studies to this year due to lack of school fees.  

More: State pledges thorough probe into Sharon Otieno's murder

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