Did Homa Bay County Roads and Infrastructure Executive committee nominee Dony Opar foresee his death?
Did he know his killers? That is the question residents are asking after a short video emerged of the businessman cum politician revealing plans to eliminate him in a public gathering a few days ago.
In a two-minute, 50 seconds video, the county Executive nominee is heard saying that unknown people have been trailing him.
The exact date and time the video was taken is not known but his close friends claim Mr Opar spoke on June 5.
Wang' Chieng' Ward MCA Peter Kaula told journalists that Mr Opar spoke at a funeral in Karabondi, Karachuonyo constituency.
"He said in public that his life was at risk. He asked for protection from local authorities," the MCA said.
The businessman, who was also a financial consultant, was set to be sworn in on Tuesday. Mr Opar said in the video that unknown people on motorbikes surveyed his home at night.
"They would come to my gate and inspect the area. Their motorbikes didn’t have headlights instead the riders used flashlights which they would switch off," Mr Opar said at the gathering.
He said the unknown people were operating between 2am and 4am. "The other day, I saw them at the gate looking at my home. I wondered what they were after. I know who sent them," he added.
He is then heard asking for protection from national government administrators.
Mr Opar in the video appeals to a chief and his assistant to take action on the said people.
Whether he knew his attackers or not remains a mystery. At 10:47pm on Friday night, he walked into his petrol station in Kendu Bay town as was his routine to check on the day’s sales and collect cash.
That is when an unknown number of assailants attacked and eliminated him. The killers took away an unknown amount of money and other personal items such as laptops and mobile phones.
The assailants then drove away in a saloon car they had parked next to the station, leaving his body in a pool of blood.
County police commander Esther Seroney said police are seeking to establish if the attack was an act of robbery or politics, she said.
Karabondi location chief Isack Opar, a relative to the deceased, said the assailants mainly targeted the nominee.
“Those who shot the businessman went straight for him. There were other people in the petrol station but their eyes were set on Mr Opar,” the chief said.
The administrator said the attackers shot the businessman twice. “The shots were fired at close range which sent him straight to the ground,” Mr Opar added.
Witnesses said the attackers fired in the air to disperse a crowd that had started gathering at the scene following the commotion.
Detectives now say they will question five people in connection with the killing, including an MCA who arrived at the scene soon after the incident. He is said to have been at an adjacent hotel.
The others are two petrol station attendants, a watchman, Mr Opar’s driver and one of his aides.
The county Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss Daniel Wachia said police will also review CCTV footage from Pikadili Hotel opposite the petrol station to track what happened.
“The actions that we are taking will enable us understand exactly what happened. Those at the police station have not been arrested rather they are there to help police with investigations," he said.
At Kendu Bay Adventist Hospital where Mr Opar’s body was taken, emotions ran high on Saturday as his family, including wife and children, arrived. They moved the body to Kisumu.
Mr Opar, 60, holds a Master’s degree in finance. He previously worked at the National Cereals Board and Maseno University as an accountant.
Mr Julius Polo, one of his friends, said Mr Opar studied in India. Before he came back to Kenya, he worked as a financial consultant in Afghanistan. In Kenya, he engaged in various business activities.
He was scheduled to attend a funds drive at a church in Karachuonyo on Saturday.
Local leaders and civil society groups in the county led by Governor Cyprian Awiti and his deputy Hamilton Orata said the killers must face justice in the shortest time possible.
“We have witnessed a lot of such incidents in our county and we sadly demand to know the killers,” the deputy governor said.
County secretary Isaiah Ogwe, Karachuonyo MP Adipo Okuome and his Rangwe counterpart Dr Lilian Gogo condemned the attack.
Mr Awiti called on the office of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to send a team of homicide officers to Homa Bay to investigate the murder.