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Agnes Tirop death: Diaspora athlete Viola Lagat faults women leaders for weak war against gender violence

By Winfrey Owino | October 25th 2021

Viola Lagat is an athlete in the United States of America. [Courtesy]

Mourners at Agnes Tirop’s funeral were startled for a moment when Viola Lagat, an athlete in the United States of America, took to the podium to give her condolence message on behalf of Diaspora athletes.

A fortnight ago, Agnes was found dead at her house in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County, with stab wounds on her neck. Her husband Ibrahim Kemboi has since been arrested with police treating him as a murder suspect.

Lagat’s was not a condolence message but rather a moment to speak up against Gender-based Violence.

She called out women leaders for doing nothing while women suffered most at the hands of their abusers.

She pointed an accusing finger at the country’s leadership for half-hearted efforts to address Gender-Based Violence.

“We don’t want to see you command the suspects’ arrests, we want you to command passing of laws that protect women and children in this country,” she said.

Viola criticised women leaders for prioritising political discussions as opposed to fighting for the implementation of laws that protect women and children.

“Madam Kihika, I know you will see this, Boss Sholei, you are very vocal and we all know you,” she said.

“When we see you, we recognise you and know what you are about to say because you are a powerful woman. You are powerful when it comes to politics, but you are not powerful when it comes to addressing women issues,” she said amid cheers.

Mourners burst into cheers when she asked women leaders to exit if they had no solution to existing women problems.

“Women Representatives, if you are not going to do anything for me, my sister, my mother and the generations to come, please go home,” she said.

According to the 32-year-old female athlete, the country’s leadership was lagging in responding to the rampant cases of Gender-based Violence.

“What are you doing? You are sitting, watching girls like Agnes getting killed every single day in every village. Agnes was a hero, that’s why her story drew worldwide attention. But this happens daily,” she added.

“Have you created any seminars to reach out to our victims of violence?” she posed a question to Nandi County Women Representative, Tecla Chebet.

Agnes Tirop was buried on Saturday, October 23, at her parents’ home in Nandi County.

An autopsy revealed she died of stab wounds on the neck.

Her Husband, Ibrahim Kemboi is the main suspect in her murder case.

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