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Strathmore lecturer tried to cover up murder, police say

PD Correspondent @PeopleDailyKe

Police are investigating claims Strathmore University lecturer Fred Ogola tried to cover up the death of his wife. This followed events that took place after the death of Margaret Mwachongo, alias Rebbeca, on New Year’s eve.

First, Ogola allegedly told some of his, and his wife’s, relatives that she had died of a blood clot. This despite the fact that no postmortem had been performed on the body at the time. It was then that the body was moved from Aga Khan Hospital to Montenzuma Funeral Home.

He had not informed police of the incident. At the mortuary, he reportedly instructed attendants to prepare the body for burial on Wednesday, just two days after her death. “We understand the attendants had prepared the body ready for burial. He may have done this out of anger or panic but it was wrong,” said an investigator aware of the probe. And when he arrived home from the mortuary, he apparently told the house-help to leave for her rural home.

This notwithstanding the fact that she was taking care of their six-week-old baby. The house-help is among the people police are likely to call as witnesses in the case. On Wednesday, some relatives of the woman are said to have walked to Dagoretti Police Station seeking to have the probe dropped but police informed them it was beyond their mandate as the matter was between the State and Ogola.

Police are investigating murder claims in the incident where Ogola and his wife are believed to have engaged in a physical confrontation on December 31 in their Lavington home, leading to her death. Ogola is in custody as police investigate murder allegations against him. On Wednesday, he appeared in court but did not take a plea because investigations were not complete.

Strathmore University lecturer Dr Fred Ogola at the Kibera Law Courts, Nairobi yesterday. Police were allowed 10 days to complete investigations. Photo/CHARLES MATHAI

The court allowed police to hold him for 10 more days to complete investigations. A postmortem was conducted on the body yesterday.

Ogola, 40, is the Academic Director MBA programmes, Director of the Institute of Strategy and Competitiveness and Senior Lecturer of Strategy and Decision Making at Strathmore Business School.

He was arrested after police investigations showed he fought with his wife before she died. Mwachongo, who was pronounced dead at the Aga Khan Hospital, gave birth to their first child a month ago.

She was an accountant at a private firm on Mombasa Road, Nairobi. According to police, the two had an argument on December 31 on where they would usher in the New Year.

They agreed to go for an evening bite at a Java restaurant but Ogola is said to have changed his mind and decided to go out alone after receiving a phone call. This is said to have angered Mwachongo, 29, who demanded to know who had called him and why he had changed his mind about the two of them going out, police say.

Preliminary police investigations have shown the quarrel escalated into a physical fight in which she was hit on the head and fell on the bedroom floor. Police say Ogola left the house but called the house-help an hour later to inquire about his wife’s condition.

Dagorretti OCPD Rashid Mohamed said the house-help informed Ogola his wife was still lying on the floor but motionless. “He drove back to the house, picked her up and drove to the hospital later that night. The doctors could not save her life as she had died,” said Mohamed.

At the hospital, he called some of the woman’s relatives to inform them of the incident before the body was moved to a different mortuary. Mwachongo’s relatives said she could not go out for a New Year’s eve party because she had given birth through a Cesarean Section and was still recuperating.

They agreed to go for coffee at a Java restaurant before a quarrel over a phone call broke out. Police said the house help informed them that she heard commotion in the bedroom before Ogola walked out.

Ogola also announced the death of his wife on Facebook. “To my friends on FB, what happened was too painful that I have been unable to believe and that’s why I didn’t update you. My lovely wife left me and went to the lord. It’s so hurting in as much as it is hard to express. Rip my love,” he said in a post.

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