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Friends, kin recount last moments of IEBC officer

 

tsvzexw8klkxax5999c2a1dbbc1 Friends, kin recount last moments of IEBC officer
Caroline Odinga, whose mutilated body was found near her home in Sega, Ugenya constituency, Siaya County. [Philip Orwa, Standard]

Friends and family recalled their last moments with Caroline Odinga, whose body was found 100 metres from her home in Sega, Ugenya, at the weekend.

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The teacher at Ugenya High School served as a deputy presiding officer at Miyare Primary School, North Ugenya, in the General Election.

On Friday, the day she went missing, Odinga had gone for a meeting at Sega Polytechnic with other county Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officers.

Lilian Ogutu, a friend and a presiding officer who spent the day at the meeting with Odinga, said they went to get transport allowance from the Ugenya constituency returning officer.

“I cannot really say anything about the questions she was asked because we were in a queue and everyone was entering the office alone so I can’t really say I have an idea what questions she could have been asked, “ Ms Ogutu told The Standard.

Odinga’s husband, Mathias Otieno, said the last time he saw his wife was on Friday evening when she left for school to pick up some books.

Otieno said he overheard a conversation between his wife and a woman presiding officer complaining about ‘massive interrogation’ during their meeting with other IEBC officials.

“That was the last time I saw her. Her phone later went off and I couldn’t reach her. I called a few friends and relatives but they had not heard from her either. I believe she was abducted and killed but the murderers opted to dump her body near our home,” added her husband.

Mr Otieno said three books she had gone to pick from school and a packet of wheat flour were among the things recovered from the scene.

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The father of four now wants the police to speedily investigate his wife’s death and bring her killers to book.

Deep cuts

According to Ugenya High School head teacher Peter Otieno, Odinga had picked up books and left with the same motorcyclist who brought her.

“We have lost a very dedicated staff and a head of department of the languages. We are trying to get information on her movements after she left school… it is the hardest moment for the teaching fraternity,” said the head teacher.

Ukwala OCPD Paul Tiriki said police had started investigations to establish the cause of Odinga’s death.

The body is at the Sega Mission mortuary. Sources said the 39-year-old suffered deep cuts on the face, neck, and thighs.

Meanwhile, IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati in a statement confirmed that Odinga worked with the commission as a deputy presiding officer in Ugenya constituency during the elections.

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Mr Chebukati said she was a teacher at Ugenya High School and worked with IEBC as a temporary staff.

“The police are investigating the death of Ms Odinga. We ask them to speed up the investigations. The commission and the country need to know what happened to Ms Odinga. On behalf of the entire IEBC family, I would like to send condolences to the family and friends of Caroline Odinga. We pray to God to give you the grace to bear the loss,” said Chebukati. 

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