How did our daughter die in your hands? Parents ask top university

Daystar University gate. Mercy Cherono was found dead in a hostel at the institution our days after reporting for her studies. [File, Standard]

Police in Athi River are investigating the mysterious death of a first-year student at Daystar University, even as her distraught parents demand answers on the shocking incident.

Mercy Cherono was found dead in a hostel only four days after reporting for her studies. Her father, Bowen Kanda, Wednesday said the death of his daughter has shocked his family.

He also disputed an explanation by the university that she had committed suicide at school. In an interview at the family home in Nyayo Embakasi estate, the father revealed the last moments of his daughter.

On the fateful night, Cherono called her mother at around 6pm and informed her of her intentions to travel home since she did not want to participate in a party organised for freshers. Her mother told Cherono she was free to come back home.

She called her mother again at around 7pm and said she had not found a vehicle to ferry her from school to town.

She therefore decided to return to school and would be attending the first years' party. At around 9.30pm, the mother and daughter spoke again on phone.

Cherono said she was at the party and was having fun. She said she was taking chapati and soda for dinner. This is the last time the family spoke to her.

The next call that came was around 2am from the school administration asking Cherono's mother to proceed to the university campus in Lukenya.

No explanation was offered on why she was being called to the school in the dead of the night. Bowen said the mother immediately started her journey and on reaching Mlolongo, she received a second call from the school asking her not to report to the university and instead drive to Shalom Hospital in Kitengela.

It took the mother less than 10 minutes to drive to the hospital where she was met by a university administrator and doctors.
At this point, neither the school administrator present nor the hospital management offered the much-needed explanation to her.

A panicked mother in the company of her son waited patiently for answers but there was no response.

The family confronted the school official present in hospital who revealed to them that their daughter was in the hospital where she was confirmed dead after suffering a stab wound on her left side of the chest.

Pained and in distraught, the mother returned home and the following morning, reported to Athi-River DCI offices.

Four police officers assigned to investigate the mystery death accompanied the family to the university hostels.

Wednesday, Bowen said the family is yet to get a brief from the DCI on the death of their daughter. “All I want is justice for my daughter. I want to know what happened to her," he said.