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Nyeri youth hold vigil for Ivy Wangechi ahead of burial

Wednesday April 17 2019

Ivy Wangechi vigil

Youths are pictured during a vigil in Nyeri town on April 17, 2019, in honour of slain Moi University medical student Ivy Wangechi. PHOTO | NICHOLAS KOMU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

NICHOLAS KOMU
By NICHOLAS KOMU
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Youth in Nyeri town on Wednesday honoured slain university student Ivy Wangechi with a night vigil, holding a walk, lighting candles and observing a moment of silence for her and other victims of violence.

Ms Wangechi was killed on April 9 by an axe-wielding Naftali Kinuthia outside Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, where she worked.

The vigil took place as Ms Wangechi's family prepared for her burial on Thursday in Mahiga.

'UNCOMFORTABLE REMINDER'

Event organisers told the Nation that the vigil served as a reminder of the abuse in relationships, especially between young people.

“It was meant to be an uncomfortable reminder of the level of violence and abuse that exists in relationships today," said Ms Waruguru wa Kiai, a youth leader and one of the organisers.

"Kenyans have become too comfortable with violence and forget the victims too quickly."

ALARM

The youths used the platform to pile pressure on authorities for solutions to this and other types of violence, noting the numbers had reached alarming levels.

“More than 40 women have been victims of domestic violence since January. Men have also suffered but many of their cases remain unreported. Something needs to be done,” Ms Waruguru said.

Mr Kinuthia, 28, travelled from Thika to Eldoret in Uasin Gishu County on that day on a mission to kill Ms Wangechi, who was a sixth year Moi University medical student.

Police said he told them that he killed the 25-year-old because she rejected his advances.

Mr Kinuthia was severely beaten by a mob and arrested shortly after the attack. He was taken to the High Court in Eldoret on Monday, where it was decided that he should spend two more weeks in police custody pending further investigations and a mental assessment to determine his fitness to stand trial for murder.

OTHER CASES

A similar case was reported in Nyeri County as the public sought to understand why Mr Kinuthia brutally murdered Ms Wangechi.

Mary Wangui Wachira, 25, was stabbed in the neck and killed by a disgruntled man at her aunt's home, for refusing to take him back after their separation.

Police are still pursuing Mr David Karuru, the suspect in the killing.

Ms Wachira's body was taken to Nyeri County Referral Hospital mortuary.

And about 30 kilometres away in Karatina town, a 30-year-old businesswoman is e from 17 stab wounds allegedly inflicted by her husband.

Ms Peninah Wangechi recently threatened to kill her over marital disagreements.

“I have been married to him for seven years. He had been threatening to kill me but I never thought he would try to go through with the plan,” she said.

The suspect, Mr Samuel Ndirangu, surrendered to police was later arraigned before Senior Resident Magistrate Karen Njalale at the Karatina Law Courts.

He denied the charge and was granted release on a bond of Sh1 million with a surety of the same amount.