Sharon Otieno's uncle kicked out of meeting in family row over spokesperson

Acting Kanyabala Chief Simeon Onano (left) leads Sharon Otieno’s uncle Joshua Okong’o away from the meeting. [James Omoro, Standard]
Slain university student Sharon Otieno’s uncle was kicked out of a family meeting yesterday after he tried to talk about her marital status.

Some family members stopped Joseph Okong’o from speaking, arguing that he was not their spokesman. Mr Okong’o was almost attacked at Sharon’s home at Magare village, Homa Bay County.

Trouble started when Okong’o was handed the microphone to address guests who included Homa Bay Woman Rep Gladys Wanga, her counterparts Pamela Odhiambo (Migori), Rosa Buyu (Kisumu) and Janet Ong’era (Kisii).

He began by revealing the background of Sharon’s marriage.

“I want everybody to know that Sharon was a married woman and she separated with her husband in January,” he said.

The crowd booed him but he was not cowed.

“The husband has never appeared in this home but we need him because Sharon will not be buried here due to our cultural beliefs,” said Okong’o who is a brother to Sharon’s mother.

The crowd booed him louder. Sharon’s father Douglas Otieno snatched the microphone from him. On Saturday, Mr Otieno had warned Mr Okongo against speaking on behalf of the family as he was an in-law.

A number of youth who were present intervened as activities came to a standstill.

Acting Kanyabala Chief Simeon Onano rescued Okong’o by leading him to his car. He left in a huff.

On Friday, Okong’o addressed journalists in the home as a spokesman of the family.

But Sharon’s father vehemently opposed him on grounds that an in-law could not act as a spokesman of his family.

As this happened, a man said to be Sharon’s husband, Bernard Okuta declined  to comment on his relationship with the Rongo University student, with whom he is said to have two children, all living with Sharon’s mother Melida Auma. Yesterday, journalists  traced Mr Okuta to Rapogi High School where he teaches, but he declined to comment.

“I cannot  comment on the matter. Its both emotive and sensitive. You can get further information from the lady’s parents, please,” said Okuta, who neither denied nor confirmed reports of their relationship.

Meanwhile, Sharon’s mother claimed her life was in danger. Melinda urged police to provide her with security.

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Sharon OtienoHoma Bay CountyMigoriMurder