An inquest into the death of the late Keroche heiress Tecra Mungai resumed Thursday, with Nakuru Senator Tabitha Karanja, her son James Mungai, and a family friend Peter Kariuki, taking the stand.

Tabitha Karanja told the court that Omar Lali might have played a role in her daughter’s demise due to her refusal to continue financing him.

While being cross-examined by Lali’s lawyer, Karanja said it was unusual for Tecra, 29, to be transferring substantial sums of money to a 60-year-old man.

“For us, it was not normal…a child to transfer money to a 60-year-old man, that’s not normal.

“In our culture, men send the money, not the other way round. Not usual for an older man to be receiving huge amounts of money from a young girl,” said Tabitha.

She also told Senior Principal Magistrate Zainab Abdul that, as a mother, she did not approve her daughter’s relationship with Omar Lali.

Tabitha informed the court that she believed Lali was greedy, refuting claims that she controlled her daughter. Instead, she claimed that she allowed Tecra the freedom to lead her own life.

Tabitha Karanja testifying on Thursday, October 5, 2023 during the hearing of an inquest into the death of her daughter Tecra Mungai

“She knew what she was doing was wrong…I did not approve of that relationship…It was not about the looks, you are not Jehova to know who looks good.”

Tecra’s brother James Mungai Karanja on his part expressed his dissatisfaction with the relationship, highlighting that the age difference was something he had not anticipated. He said he was shocked when he met Lali.

“If I were to advise her then, I’d have discouraged her from that relationship…my parents never approved that relationship…I was sent to go to Lamu to tell her to go back home but she declined,” he said.

Mungai also informed the court that Tecra would become defensive whenever he attempted to broach the topic of Lali.

“She said with or without family approval. She would still date him. She kept saying he is a prophet and not an ordinary man,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Keroche family friend, Peter Kariuki, claimed that Omar might have emotionally manipulated Tecra.

“I think he used false pretenses to convince her to stay…Like trying to cut off communication between her and family, friends, and people she knew way before,” he said.

Kariuki said he was astonished upon learning about Tecra’s relationship with Lali, as he was familiar with the kind of individuals he expected Tecra to be romantically involved with.

“They were much younger. It seemed she didn’t have a chance to express herself in the relationship,” he said.

The inquest was adjourned to December 6, 2023, when Lali is expected to provide his testimony.