A family in Nyamira County, Kenya is seeking answers following the brutal murder of their kin Thomas Oyaro, a Kenyan psychiatrist nurse working in the US.
Oyaro’s dismembered body was thrown out of a speeding car at Konate Junction in Nyamira on September 13th, about a month after he visited to the country from the US.
His widow Jackline Mokeira told Nation that her husband moved to the US three years ago in search of greener pastures and would come home at least once a year for a month.
She said the deceased had visited them earlier this year and went back to the US on April 16th, only to return to Kenya on August 14th. This was unusual, the family said.
“I don’t know why he came back sooner than expected. He didn’t finish his usual one-year stay in the US. He didn’t tell me why he had returned home early,” Jackline said.
Jackline said Oyaro landed in Kenya on a Friday despite informing her that he would be arriving on Saturday. His phone was also disconnected.
On Monday, she accompanied her husband to Gesonso in Kisii County, where they were building a hospital. That day, they fired the engineer in charge of the project for doing shoddy work.
“We sacked the engineer. We also had to demolish part of the building because it had been shoddily done,” she said.
Jackline recalled her husband having nightmares on the night of September 11th. He also looked disturbed but he was okay in the morning.
Later that day, she left to visit a relative and left her husband with their Grade Two child but when she returned, Oyaro was nowhere to be found.
“I tried calling him but his phone went unanswered. He usually comes home by 10pm and stops at Shelton Hotel to study because of their strong Wi-Fi. He had been preparing for exams. Better qualifications would have enabled him to get employed by the US government,” Jackline said.
On Monday, she visited the construction site and established that Oyaro was there the previous day and boarded a boda boda to Nyamarambe stage.
“He paid workers. He also paid our brick supplier, left at 5pm and boarded a boda boda that dropped him at Nyamarambe stage,” said Jackline.
The following day, the family filed a missing person report at Nyamarambe police station.
“We placed announcements on the mainstream and social media. On September 15, I heard that a body had been dumped in Nyamira. A friend checked but it was a woman, so I stopped panicking. I had faith he was alive,” she said.
Nearly a month later on October 18th, Jackline received a call from DCI and was informed that the fingerprints of a body that had been dumped at Konate junction matched those of Oyaro.
“We have a relative at DCI in Nairobi, who helped to coordinate the identification process,” said Jackline.
The family is demanding thorough investigations into Oyaro’s murder to ensure the perpetrators are brought to book.
“We want to know the whereabouts of his phone. On the day the body was dumped at Konate, his phone signal was traced to a hotel in Nyamarambe. It remained on for some days,” she said.
Traders along the Kisii-Ikonge-Nyamira Road said the vehicle that dumped the body had no number plates.
The body parts, which had been stuffed in gunny bags, were taken to Nyamira County Referral Hospital. His arms, legs and waist were separated from the rest of the organs while his external genitalia were ripped off and the head is still missing.
“We don’t know the motive. Whatever the case, it was horrible. He was tortured and died a very painful death,” Jackline, a mother of three, said.
Oyaro’s father Stephen Magwamu said his son will be laid to rest on Friday. “We are Christians. We don’t care about culture. We’ll just lay him to rest even without the head as we pursue his killers,” he said.
He added: “Police are not willing to serve. They just want to be pushed to follow up on this issue. They have the ability to track his phone and find out whom they were in contact with, but they have not done so.”
Oyaro’s nephew Douglas Orenge, said: “My uncle’s phone was on for nine days. It has been a painful month. Police say they have important leads but they are not giving us any information.”