Lavish lifestyle hid school fees problem

The late Sharon Otieno. [Photo: Standard]
Despite leading a lavish lifestyle, slain Rongo University student Sharon Otieno had difficulty paying fees.

By the end of the first semester of her second year, Ms Sharon had an accumulated Sh78,000 in fees arrears, according to university Vice Chancellor Samuel Gudu.

Dean of Students Ben Asugo yesterday told The Standard that the student also did not proceed for industrial attachment as required.

However, the fee challenge could not directly be attributed to Sharon deferring studies, considering the fact that she was pregnant by the time she was entering her second year. She was pursuing a diploma in health records and information systems.

Mr Asugo said Sharon (right) struggled to pay entry fees. She had enrolled at Rongo’s Town campus as a privately sponsored student.

“She first paid Sh10,000, then later paid Sh12,000 before finally clearing the remaining Sh10,000,” Asugo said.

But her classmates painted a different picture. They considered her to be a fashion model and even nicknamed her ‘Miss Smart’ because of her flashy dressing code. Others nicknamed her ‘Lecturer’ because of her confidence.

Heads turned whenever Sharon walked along corridors at the Rongo University main campus.

“When she was first admitted, she was brought into out lecture room by our colleague and we thought it was a new lecturer! And that is how we christened her Lecturer,” said Ruth Achieng a classmate.

Other colleagues described her as a generous person who would go out of her way to help fellow students.

“I am the one who received her into our lecture rooms immediately after she was admitted. She just flashed Sh200 from her heavy wallet and told me to take lunch in town,” said a student who identified herself only as Alloys.

Yvone Okoth, a close friend, said Sharon rarely interacted with other students.

On one particular occasion - three to four months ago - she wowed them by posting and tagging them nice pictures of her at an unidentified airport. She did not say where she was headed.

But the dean revealed that scanty information of her social life would be traced by his office.

The official said Sharon used to stay at Kamagambo area, three kilometres from Rongo town where she was reportedly married, before moving to Homa Bay where her parents live.

The information, however, contradicts what her classmates know about her.

Ms Akoth said Sharon had confided to them that she was living in Awendo and that she used to commute every day to and from college.

“She was one person you could not have time to talk with because once classes were over, she would just leave right after the lectures,” Akoth said.

Rongo University in Migori County is only six years old. Before it became a university it was a middle level vocational institute called Moi Institute of Technology, a constituent college of Moi University.

The university received a charter in 2016.

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Rongo University studentSharon OtienoFee ProblemVice Chancellor Samuel GuduDean of StudentsBen AsugoMigori CountyGovernor Okoth Obado