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Emotions run high as Sharon is laid to rest

Family of slain university student determined to get justice for their daughter despite threats from unknown people, as she is buried at her grandfather’s home

Slain Rongo University student Sharon Otieno was finally laid to rest on Friday in an emotional ceremony attending by hundreds of mourners, including politicians, in Homa Bay county.

And in a terse statement, her family vowed not to be silenced in pursuit of justice for their daughter, found murdered in Kodera forest on September 5.

Sharon’s mother, Melida Auma, said even though she lives in fear after some unknown people threatened her on phone, she will not rest until her daughter’s killers are brought to book.

Although she did not disclose the nature of the threat, Auma said: “I am firm and I will not be cowed because that will give my enemies an opportunity to harass my family”.

Despite a heavy downpour, mourners and students of Rongo University braved the bad weather to give her a befitting send-off.

Friends and relatives inter the coffin carrying the body of slain Rongo University student Sharon Otieno in Magare village, Homa Bay county on Friday. Photo/GEORGE ODIWUOR

The students carried the casket containing Sharon’s remains to the grave site, singing songs in praise of their fallen comrade.

Some students who spoke at the funeral called for quick investigations into the murder of their colleague.

The ceremony was presided over by the Director of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, Victor Wandago.

The event was also attended by a number of MPs from Nyanza including Homa Bay Women’s Representative Gladys Wanga, Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma, who is also Sharon’s family lawyer, and Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo, among others.

Wanga described the death of the student as unfortunate and said justice must be served.

“We must seek justice for the family of Sharon. We do not want a repeat of a similar murder,” she said. Odhimabo asked the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to ensure those found guilty of Sharon’s murder are punished.

The MPs commended the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Judiciary on the pace of investigations into the case, saying they are confident that justice will be served.

“We are seeing the case headed somewhere. We are happy with the pace at which investigators are conducting inquest into the death of Otieno,” said Kaluma.

Homa Bay Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata said no one deserves to dis in the manner Sharon did and called on the need to protect women from such gruesome murders.  -GEORGE ODIWUOR

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