Ms Ivy Wangeci, a sixth-year medical student at the Moi University College of Health Sciences, was killed in the most macabre manner in broad daylight within the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital compound on Tuesday morning.
A man identified as Naftali Kinuthia lured her out of the hospital where she had been doing her practicals before waging an attack witnessed by several horrified members of the public.
Mr Kinuthia pulled an axe out of a sack and hit Ms Wangeci on the head with it, causing her to fall down.
He then used the axe to cut the trainee in the head before taking out a knife and slitting her throat.
The anger which Mr Kinuthia displayed as he hacked Ms Wangeci to death scared off dozens of people who had rushed to the scene to rescue her.
He is said to have ensured she was dead before attempting to flee the crime scene.
Irate members of the public aided by boda boda operators cornered him and beat him up.
The man is said to be an employee of a Nairobi-based betting firm.
It took the intervention of police officers to rescue him from the mob. He has been admitted to the same hospital.
When the Nation team visited the scene of the incident, there was a pool of blood with fellow students talking in hushed tones, yet to come to terms with the death of the promising student who was set to graduate in December.
Her belongings, including a pen, were still at the scene.
The daring mid-morning attack outside the busy hospital brought business to a standstill as curious onlookers thronged the facility.
Mr Winston Akama, her colleague, said that he was with her after doing wards at the hospital.
“She was in high spirits and I didn’t see anything wrong with her. She was to see some patients after lunch. Sadly, this was not to be,” said Mr Akama.
The students said their colleague was always dedicated to her studies and there was nothing strange about her.
Mr Benethe Ananda, an eye witness said the assailant was smartly dressed and no one would have suspected him of ill motive based on his looks.
“He had a white sack. We only heard the lady’s cry later. We rushed to the scene and found her lying in a pool of blood moments later,” said Mr Ananda.
An uncle of the assailant, Mr Jotham Mwareri, said that the family was still in shock following the incident.
“He has all along been very dedicated to his work. We had not seen any strange behavior in him,” Mr Mwareri said of the computer science graduate.
Moi University Vice Chancellor Prof Isaac Kosgey had a tough time addressing the scared students who decried lack of accommodation at the university and are now fearing for their lives.
Prof Kosgey urged students to remain calm as the university liaises with security personnel.
“It’s indeed a very sad day. We will be updating all of us in time. We’ve been having issues of insecurity issues not only here but all over county. We’ve already notified her family over this unfortunate incident,” said Prof Kosgey.
Moi University School of Medicine Dean Lukoye Atwoli said the incident reflects on the general state of insecurity in Eldoret town.
“This is not the first case of such an incident occurring and we are counting on the police to get to the bottom of this and give us the full information. An attack of the student that happened on an open road really reflects on the general state of the security in town,” said Dr Lukoye.