Boyfriend of Slain Machakos University Student Fails to Take Plea

January 25, 2024

On Wednesday, the Machakos High Court arraigned Chrispine Odhiambo Omondi, the primary suspect in the death of first-year Machakos University student Harriet Moraa Nyaboga.

Omondi appeared before Justice Francis Olel, who directed that he undergo a mental evaluation at Machakos Level V Hospital before entering a plea.

Justice Olel also appointed a pro-bono lawyer to represent the suspect, who was the boyfriend of the deceased Ms Moraa.

Omondi was remanded at Machakos GK Prisons and is slated to return to court for plea-taking on February 14, 2024.

The suspect is a fifth-year Engineering student at Machakos University, where Ms Moraa was a first-year pursuing a Bachelor of Education degree.

Police reports state that on the morning of January 8, 2024, Moraa visited Omondi at his house in Katoloni estate on the outskirts of the university.

Later that night, Omondi reportedly went to his friend, John Ouma, informing him that he had found his girlfriend dead in his house.

Sensing something was wrong, Ouma reported the incident to Machakos Police Station. Acting on Ouma’s tip, the police found Moraa’s body on January 9.

Another friend of the suspect, Daniel Musela, stated that the explanation provided by the latter did not make sense.

“He told me that he found the lady he was dating dead. He revealed to me that and I asked him how this happened,” said Musela.

Moraa was found dead with blood oozing from her ears and nose and her hands tied from behind using shoe laces.

Preliminary investigations revealed no signs of a struggle at the scene.

Family Recounts Last Moments With Moraa

The deceased student died days after the burial of her grandfather at home in South Mugirango, Kisii County. The family said Harriet left home on Saturday morning for Machakos and later informed them that she had arrived safely.

“My husband passed away in 2002, leaving me with three children, with Harriet as the firstborn at the age of about three. Since then, I’ve been making a living through various menial jobs. I’ve worked in people’s homes, performed domestic tasks, and worked on farms for minimal pay, all to provide an education for my children. Now, Harriet has been killed,” said Florence Kemunto Nyaboga, Moraa’s mother.

“I had placed all my hopes on her. Her potential was just starting to blossom, but now it has been extinguished,” she added.

Florence Kemunto Nyaboga at the family home in South Mugirango, Kisii County.

On the day she left home, a cheerful Ms Moraa expressed excitement in knowing about her younger sister’s performance in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations.

“She died without knowing what I scored because I had not received my results when we last spoke. Harriet was my look-alike and many people mistook us for twins. When Harriet left home she was hopeful that I would soon join her at Machakos University. But now she is gone. Where is my twin sister?” the grieving sister said as quoted by the Nation.

Harriet was cherished and loved by her siblings, particularly her younger brother, who joined Form Four this year.

“On Saturday, when she left home, I escorted her to the vehicle she boarded. She promised to send me some back-to-school pocket money. I never knew I was escorting my sister to her painful death,” the brother said.

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