Man killed hours after introducing fiance to family

By Maureen Odiwuor

Kisumu, Kenya: A man was shot dead by a stray bullet, hours after formally introducing his fiancée to his family in Kondele estate, Kisumu County.

Joseph Ongoro had just returned from formally introducing the fiancée to his mother when a stray bullet hit his left thigh.

Ongoro the adopted son of Kaloleni -Shauri Moyo County Representative Priscah Misachi was one of two men who met their death in Kisumu’s Kondele Estate after the Supreme Court delivered its verdict on the 2013 presidential election petition.

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Misachi, who is a former Kisumu Mayor, said her adopted son had brought home his girlfriend that morning for introduction after which the woman left.

Verdict

“At the time the verdict was being delivered, I ensured he sat close to me so that he would not leave the house because he was very excited believing that the verdict would favour Prime Minister Raila Odinga,” she says.

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When The Standard visited the home, friends and relatives were in a somber mood trying to come to terms with the fateful incident that had befallen Misachi’s family.

When the news came contrary to his expectation, he was not happy but the mother insisted that he does not leave the house.

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“Unfortunately a guest came to the house and I got distracted. That was the last time I saw him. Someone saw him leave the house through the backdoor,” Misachi says while wiping tears from her face.

She assumed her son was somewhere close by with his friends after her warning but with the gunshots that rented the air, she suspected that he might have gone to Kondele to see what was going on.

“The sad news reached me at 7pm that Josi my son had been shot by police on his left leg and was rushed to New Nyanza Provincial Hospital,” she says.

Security

Due to the situation outside, she could not leave the house that night because of the high security presence.

She went to the hospital early Sunday morning only for the nurses to redirect her to the hospital mortuary.

“I was gripped with fear as I checked among those admitted and did not find him, I was then led to the mortuary where I identified his body,” she says.

Ongoro succumbed to the gunshot wound while undergoing treatment.

A relative, Penina Oduol who knew him fondly remembers him as a down to earth man whom she doubts could have the guts of throwing stones and believes he must have gone to Kondele out of curiosity.

“He had taken some alcohol, but I know he was not capable of provoking police officers,” says Mrs Oduol.

She laments that the excessive force used by the police in Kisumu was unwarranted as the situation was not as grave to deserve such.

Misachi who concurs that a lot of force was used in handling the chaos that erupted after the Supreme Court announced the verdict that favoured President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta echoes her sentiments.

“I think we deserve an explanation from the police why they used live bullets in Kisumu. If security officers, who should protect us, kill us, where is our safety?” asked the mother of four children.

Orphan

The former Kisumu mayor recalls how she took in the deceased while a small boy at his Ragumo village in Kisumu County.

“I don’t know how old he is, but I met him in 1987 while conducting my campaigns in the area, he used to live alone in a dilapidated mud house,” she recalls.

She was informed that he was an orphan and took him in to live with her family, although he refused to go to school.

“I took him as my own, even ensured he got married and has a seven-year-old son, but as fate would have it, the wife left and was remarried elsewhere.

“His death will remain marked in my heart, I considered him one of my children and I have lost through police carelessness,” she says with tears flowing down her cheeks.

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