Traditions, customs and beliefs of the Luo Community have taken center stage as the family of murdered university student Sharon Otieno makes plans for her final journey.
A family meeting at her Magare Village, Homa bay County turned emotive ad dramatic after an uncle identified as Okong’o raised the issue of her marital status.
Trouble started when Okong’o was handed the microphone to address guests who included Homa Bay Woman Rep Gladys Wanga, her counterparts Pamela Odhiambo (Migori), Rosa Buyu (Kisumu) and Janet Ong’era (Kisii).
He began by revealing the background of Sharon’s marriage.
“I want everybody to know that Sharon was a married woman and she separated with her husband in January,” he said. The crowd booed him but he was not cowed.
He added defiantly :“The husband has never appeared in this home but we need him because Sharon will not be buried here due to our cultural beliefs,” said Okong’o who is a brother to Sharon’s mother.
The said man Bernard Okuta has declined to comment on his relationship with the Rongo University student, with whom he is said to have two children, all living with Sharon’s mother Melida Auma.
Yesterday, journalists traced Mr Okuta to Rapogi High School where he teaches, but he declined to comment.
“I cannot comment on the matter. Its both emotive and sensitive. You can get further information from the lady’s parents, please,” said Okuta, who neither denied nor confirmed reports of their relationship.
Some family members stopped Joseph Okong’o from speaking, arguing that he was not their spokesman. It almost turned tragic for him as some charged at him as activities came to a standstill.
Sharon’s father Douglas Otieno snatched the microphone from him. On Saturday, Mr Otieno had warned Mr Okongo against speaking on behalf of the family as he was an in-law.
Acting Kanyabala Chief Simeon Onano rescued Okong’o by leading him to his car. He left in a huff.
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