The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: UON Student Mercy Keino Inquest Begins

Photo: The Star
Witness: Charles Macharia, a caretaker at Wasini Apartments, testified at the Mercy Keino inquest at the Milimani Law Courts.

An inquest into the death of Mercy Keino, whose body was found along Waiyaki Way in June last year began sitting yesterday. Mercy, a University of Nairobi student, was found dead less than two kilometres from Wasini Luxury Apartments in Westlands where she had gone out for a party with her friends on the night of June 17 2011.

Among those who turned up for hearing yesterday was Juja MP William Kabogo who has been adversely mentioned in Mercy's death. Kabogo is expected to give evidence at the hearing later. The MP who is said to have been at the party was questioned by police, but they did not find anything to link him to the post-graduate student death.

Several witnesses who attended the party and who were with Mercy a few hours before her body was found are expected to testify to prove that her death was stage managed. "We will be calling witnesses to establish whether she was intoxicated and was responsible of the alleged hit and run accident or whether she was killed by people who stage-managed her death and dumped her body," state counsel Michael Omirera said.

Mercy's father, Joseph Kipsang Keino told the inquest how he went searching for his daughter a day after she went missing. Keino, a lecturer at the Moi University Eldoret, said a distant relative named Scholastica who had accompanied her daughter to the party informed him that Mercy left the party alone after she got drunk.

He said he went to the Wasini apartments to find out more and a guard named Juma told him that he saw Mercy run out of the apartments twice and each time was brought back by two men. He said she was pursued by the two men who were also at the party and who tried to stop her from leaving. He said he also got the same information from G4S guards manning the area.

"They told me, they saw her running. She was crying, she was asking for her phone and bag. The fellows also told me that she was slapped as she tried to resist. They said she was telling them that she wants to go home," he said. Keino said he got suspicious after another girl named Kaigai contradicted Scolastica story. Kaigai said Mercy was not drunk.

He said he got contradictory reports from Parklands police station. He said he learnt that an unknown person made a report at about 4.30am the morning Mercy disappeared claiming a body had been seen on the road. Another report indicated that someone saw the body being thrown out of a black Mercedes Benz. The inquest- before Senior Resident magistrate P. Ndwiga will resume on Monday .

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