A sombre mood engulfed the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Eldoret as dozens of students were overcome with grief upon viewing the body of their colleague, Ms Ivy Wangechi, who was brutally killed by Mr Naftali Kinuthia on Tuesday.
The body was later transferred to Kenyatta University Referral Hospital morgue as the family prepares to bury her.
As they emerged from viewing the body, one by one, they wept as they embraced each another in their shared loss. Some were too shocked to weep, while those who were overwhelmed were helped by their colleagues.
They had earlier marched slowly beside the hearse carrying the body from the adjacent MTRH mortuary to the laboratory where the viewing was done.
The students were led by the school’s dean, Prof Lukoye Atwoli, who said they were still heartbroken by the loss of Ms Wangechi.
“We gathered today to bid farewell to our colleague, our sister and our daughter. We congregated with her family, students, staff, doctors to bid her farewell here but we will be joining the family as they make funeral arrangements. The School community is still heartbroken. We are still waiting to get answers as to why this happened. We wish the family strength and we hope we have strength ourselves to deal with this tragic event,” said Prof Atwoli.
The students held a vigil for Ms Wangechi on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile in Thika, Mrs Nancy Kinuthia, the assailant’s mother, looked disturbed, still perturbed by the news of her son’s brutal act.
Mrs Kinuthia said she can’t stop thinking about what could have made him commit such a heinous crime, despite not having shown a violent streak.
“When I heard the news, I could not understand how my son could have done such a thing. We have never had issues with him. Even if you ask around, you will be told the same. I do not understand what happened, why he did it,” she said.
The thoughts and questions have caused her not just sadness but also affected her wellbeing. “I have not eaten since the news of what my son had done broke. I am just praying and asking myself lots of questions,” she said. d
The stories being shared on social media, and about which journalists are questioning her, have also taken a toll on her.
“I have being telling the truth since the incident happened. I have not denied that he did what he did,” she said.
She said her hope for her son now lies solely in God. “There is nothing much I can do apart from praying and waiting upon God. My daughter has called me a few minutes ago to comfort me. She told me she also believes that her brother was not himself when he did that and asked me to accept it,” she said.
At Ms Wangechi’s home in Makongeni Phase 10 Estate in Thika, preparations for receiving her parents and the relatives who went to collect her body were ongoing.
Additional reporting by Mary Wambui