Murdered University Students: cause of rising cases in Kenya

The late Ivy Wangech/Courtesy of Facebook

First, before the murder of female university students started to grab national headlines like after every three months, there was only the isolated case of Mercy Keino, a university of Nairobi student whose disfigured body was discovered on Waiyaki Way in 2012 after she attended a party hosted by Kiambu Governor, William Kabogo at Wasini Luxury Suites in Nairobi.

Then later on, there was Carol Ngumbu, a Kenya Medical Training College, Karen Campus student who was due to graduate in December after her attachment in Naivasha. Miss Ngumbu was murdered in the run-up to the controversial 2017 General Elections alongside the then IEBC ICT manager Chris Musando. Her naked body and that of Musando were found dumped in Lari Forest, Kiambu County. It’s said, her murder, and that of Musando her alleged “sponsor”, were “collateral”.

And in September 2018, the victim was another University female student, Sharon Otieno, a 26-year-old student at Rongo University in Migori County, cruelly murdered  with her unborn child and her body dumped in Kodera Forest. She was the concubine of Migori Governor Okoth Obado. The case is still ongoing.

And then last Tuesday, another female university student added to the statistics of the ever-growing list of murdered female university students.

Ivy Wangechi, a sixth-year Medical student at Moi University was hacked to death in broad daylight by a man who was allegedly her boyfriend.

“The accused said he used to send the woman some money. The girl, according to the suspect, had told him that she was organizing her birthday party, which would happen soon. He said he sent her some money to arrange the event. Since then, the woman refused to pick his calls, said the suspect. That is what prompted him to travel [from Thika] to Eldoret. He said he wanted to know why she was ignoring him,” Eldoret East DCI boss Mr Kingi, in an interview with the press.

But what’s the cause of all these cold blood murders? This question begs. And I pondered over this disheartening issue for a while before caming up with this comprehensive article. All the victims have one thing in common, they were in some sort of sexual relationships with their killers, or main suspects in their murders; Clandestine relationships, dating older men, cheating on their boyfriends; or some casual, on and off relationship.

Some of our girls, the kind going out with ‘sponsors’ for small favors, have other young men they call boyfriends, on the side. She goes out and sleeps with this loaded old men, the boyfriend finds out, feels hurt and cozened. He might decide to walk away, like a rational guy, but unfortunately not everyone is rational. The boyfriend might be the vengeful type and decide to make the girlfriend pay. He might go after both the girlfriend and her lover (sponsor) or at one party; either the girlfriend, or her lover.

But what if the lover is the immune type? We both know most of these sponsors using and dumping our girls, are rich guys and sometimes politicians with enormous power and who can’t be touched by any jittered Tom, Dick and Harry. Probably they don’t even remember your girlfriends name, it was a one time thing, or it was just a business transaction like any other.

Now that the boyfriend can’t get to the ‘sponsor’ to quench his revenge thirst, but still feels like someone ought to pay, attacks his girlfriend who is a softer target. Staged suicides, and violent attacks are some of the common methods in which some of these boyfriends perpetrate murders, and some get away with it due to shoddy investigations carried out by our police officers.

“If I can’t have her, then he can’t have her either,” is one of the phrases shared by the perpetrators of these heinous crimes, and usually after a heartbreak. Not everyone receives a heartbreak the same way. Some people tend to leave a trail of havoc in their wake. Leave behind tears, more than they shed when their spouses broke their heart.

A young man, who was always polite and kind suddenly becomes an animal, as deadly as a hungry lioness in the Mara plains. A boy who was always kind of heart and never violent, suddenly the one making blood-cuddling headlines in the media, and his family and friends are left wondering what came over him. It’s love. A man would scorch the whole country if he has to, for love.

As much as we keep blaming the boychild for his violent reaction to issues, our girls, today’s girls are partly to blame. The girls are the ones who trigger this evil side of men. They’re responsible for bringing out the animal in men. Let’s agree, all men, and all people have a dark side, a side so weak when it comes to love.

This is what I told my girlfriend — when we were discussing the circumstances that might have led to Ivy Wangechi’s horrendous murder — and what I always tell my baby sister, and what I would tell any other girlchild out there: DONT take a man’s feelings for you, for granted. If a man pursues you, or says he’s in love with you, let him know your stand, your status, as early as possible.

The following, what I would call the Three Life Rules for Girls (TLRG) that I came up with, is the only solution to the rising cases of these murder cases in Kenya.

First: IF YOU ARE SINGLE and ready to mingle, and you think he has all the qualities of your dream guy, go out with him and just share and learn from each other. If you see a red flag, he turns out to be a jerk, it doesn’t matter at what stage your relationship is, walk out and never look back. And if he starts stalking you, report him to the cops for a restraining order, and in case anything happens to you, he would be the first suspect.

Second: If YOU ARE IN A RELATIONSHIP, and he makes advances, let him know from day one. Don’t entertain any silly ideas, the kind our Nairobi slayqueens have of “eat his money” and dump his ass. In time he is going to find out, and there are chances you might end up like the late Ivy. If it won’t be the guy you’re “eating his money” and accepting all his beautiful gifts well aware you have no feelings for him, then it would be your own boyfriend, the one you truly love incase he finds out you’ve been cheating on him.

Third: IF YOU ARE A GIRL WHO IS AFTER ‘SPONSORS’, please let your boyfriend know and agree with your line of work (if you can call it such) — and do it with caution or you might end up in the statistics as well — first. Let him know sleeping around with rich and old married men is your source of income, and if he ain’t okay with it, let him go rather than hiding it from him. He might find out and do something stupid, something that might alter the course of your lives forever. Just tell him, he might understand, who knows. Who doesn’t know the youths have no jobs in this country.

Don’t go out sleeping with anyone and anything as long as you get paid, getting all kind of diseases in the process, and hoping it won’t affect the people in your life. Don’t let your avarice and ignorance hurt your family, because at the end of the day it’s your family, the ones you live behind after being decapitated that suffers from the pain and shame, not you. You are already dead and gone.

If our girls, the young women in our Universities, can adhere to these simple TLRFG that I came up with, then we are likely to see falling cases of these tasteless murders of our young women in Kenyan universities.


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