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Kakola village in Ahero mourns her six sons murdered in Busia : The Standard

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A local gym at the home of Elvis Otieno in Ahero, one of the victims of the Busia killings. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

The whereabouts of a 20-year-old man said to have accompanied six others who were killed at a village in Busia county on Friday still remain unknown.

Jack Odhiambo is said to have been in the company of six other men when they were attacked at Masebula village.
Mr Odhiambo and his colleagues were suspected to have been involved in the murder of a businessman in the area.
Yesterday, Odhiambo’s family in Kakola village, Ahero, started a search for their kin even as they sought answers on what befell his colleagues.
SEE ALSO :Police killings: We want justice for our slain relativesBodies of the six men have been identified by their relatives.
“My mother is already in Busia, together with other relatives, trying to trace Odhiambo,” said Victor Otieno, Odhiambo’s brother.
“His phone has been off since the day of the attack. We did not find his body at Sega and Busia mortuaries where the six other bodies were taken.”
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Mr Otieno hopes his brother, having visited Masebula village many times, knows the routes and was able to escape while others were being attacked. Yesterday, Kakola village was engulfed in grief. No burial plans have been laid yet. Ahero County Hospital Mortuary was abuzz with activities, as villagers went to view the six bodies.
Young families
Four of the six had young families. One was taking care of his widowed mother.
SEE ALSO :Ruling halted on whether Echesa should be re-arrested over Matungu killings Yesterday, events that led the seven men to travel to Busia, a distance of about 140 kilometres were revealed.
Thirty-five-year-old William Omondi, commonly known as ‘Cisco’ was the man behind arrangements for the trip
Mr Omondi’s niece, Mercy Auma, who was married in Masebula village had been bereaved. Her husband, Johannes Okoth, who operates an electronic shop in Bumala, had been kidnapped and killed by unknown people.
A section of Okoth’s relatives suspected Ms Auma was involved in his killing.
Auma claimed the relatives had even threatened to lynch her. They had taken her phone in an attempt to establish whether she had communicated with the killers. 
SEE ALSO :Extra-judicial killings have no place in a democratic societyIt was when Auma sent word to Ahero, requesting for protection from the relatives.
During her husband’s burial arrangements, a relative of Auma’s contacted Cisco. She asked him to organise security for the widow just in case she was attacked.
The arrangement turned tragic when Omondi and his men got to Masebula village. Villagers who were not familiar with them grew suspicious and started accusing them of killing Okoth.
Interviews with relatives reveal that while some of the young men who were killed had informed their relatives about their planned journey to Busia, others chose to keep the details of the journey secret.
What everybody back in Ahero knew though was that they were in Busia to protect Auma.
SEE ALSO :CS warns leaders over killingsOmondi, a father of three daughters, was orphaned at the age of 10. He was brought up by his uncle Dan Oriwa.
Yesterday, his wife Molin Atieno, recounted how teenage love blossomed between them. It was that love that made Atieno drop out of school and marry Omondi at the age of 16.
Jkuat student
Omondi at the time was a Computer Science student at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Jkuat).
However, he was struggling with college fees and was constantly out of school.
“I dropped out of school because I was unhappy my boyfriend could not finish his university education because of lack of fees. So I told my parents to either pay for both of us, or I will drop out and the money used to keep me in school be spent on his Jkuat fees,” Atieno said.
Her parents bowed to pressure and accepted to pay Omondi’s fees. He was however forced to terminate his studies in third year.
Atieno said death snatched him as he planned to resume his studies.
Evans Onyango, 20, who was also killed in the attack, lived a mere 200 metres from Omondi’s home.
Others who were killed were Elvis Odoyo, 22, David Okeyo, 20, and Phillip Kwach, 28.
Mr Kwach’s wife, Melda Adhiambo, said her husband dropped out of Multimedia University where he was studying Telecommunication Engineering three years ago.
“He had been contracted during the census exercise. He was expecting some money soon. He had said he will use part of it to resume his studies,” she said.
Teresa Atieno, Odoyo’s mother described her son as an obedient and visionary child.
“We have been farming rice with him. We have been saving some money which we were planning to use to enroll him at Kisumu National Polytechnic next year to pursue an agricultural related course,” she said.
Onyango was a painter. He had abandoned a painting job he was doing on Friday to travel to the funeral in Busia.
His mother, Esther Auma, said he told her that he was accompanying a friend to the funeral.
 “He is my third born son and he was a special child in this house. He has left behind a young family. We hope justice will prevail,” she said.
“After being orphaned at an early age, I went to live with my aunt. That is where I met Onyango five months ago,” said Onyango’s wife.
Auma, the second wife of Okoth meanwhile remains in custody since police fear for her safety.
She was picked by officers attached to Bumala Police Station on Saturday morning from her home in Masebula.
Dead husband
Auma did not attend the burial of her husband who was killed on October 31. Okoth was dragged out of his house by two armed men. His body was later recovered at Kagonya area at the border of Busia and Siaya counties riddled with bullets.
He owned an electronic shop in Bumala. Butula Sub-county Police Commander Richard Omanga told The Standard that Auma requested police to take her away from home.
“We took her away for her own safety she said she had received threats,” said Mr Omanga.
He continued: “Officers are going to hold her for some time. She will also have to record a statement.”
Okoth’s brothers, Boniface Aduol and Joseph Opondo, urged police to intensify patrols in the area. According to Aduol, after the death of Okoth, everyone in the family fear for their lives.
“My other brother almost died. He was nearly shot in Murumba where he operates a shop,” said Aduol.
County Commissioner Jacob Narengo and Police Commander John Nyoike convened a security meeting at the Bumala police station on Friday evening.
Narengo faulted residents for taking the law into their hands. “They should have arrested them and taken them to Bumala police station maybe they were innocent,” said Narengo.
Additional reporting by Ignatius Odanga

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