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Man tells court that girlfriend's death at waterfall was an accident

Godfrey Kangogo before Justice Joel Ngugi at Nakuru High Court on October 7, 2021. [Daniel Chege, Standard]

The boyfriend of a lecturer who fell at a waterfall has testified that her death was an accident.

Godfrey Kangogo is accused of killing his lover Irene Jepchumba on July 6, 2018 at Choka Falls in Molo River in Mogotio within Nakuru County.

Jepchumba was a lecturer at the Rift Valley Institute of Science and Technology.

The prosecution says that Kangogo pushed Jepchumba into the falls.

However, in his testimony before Justice Joel Ngugi of the Nakuru High Court, Kangogo claimed that Jepchumba slipped and fell to her death.

Kangogo said Jepchumba was a little bit drunk and slipped while she was trying to take a selfie.

“I noticed that she had fallen when she screamed for help,” he testified.

Kangogo further testified that he saw Jepchumba’s hand above the water and dived in to save her.

He said he reached her and started swimming with her to safety but the waters were too strong.

“She hit her hip on a stone as we swam to the shore. By then my hands were numb and I lost the grip of her hand. The raging waters swept her away,” said Kangogo.

Swept away

He testified that he too almost got swept away as he tried to save Jepchumba, and decided to save himself when he could no longer see her.

He said that he screamed for help and neighbours came to his rescue.

According to Kangogo, Jepchumba had injuries on her head.

He testified that on the material day, the two of them had gone to the falls to enjoy themselves.

“We were happy and had gone to enjoy ourselves. We took some drinks and we were both drunk,” he testified.

Kangogo denied he had any intentions to kill Jepchumba. He also denied that there was bad blood between him and his girlfriend’s family.

He will present three other witnesses on September 22.

The three include witnesses who pulled him out of Choka falls and one who heard him scream for help.

A post-mortem report by Dr Titus Ngulungu, a pathologist at Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital, states that Jepchumba died of strangulation.

Kangogo was put on his defence on April 28 after Ngugi considered evidence from 26 witnesses.