An inquest into the death of Ms Careen Chepchumba, a former employee of Kenya Power who died mysteriously four years ago, started on Wednesday before a Kibera court.
Ms Chepchumba, 26, was found lying dead on her bed at Santonia Court, off Kirichwa Road in Kilimani, Nairobi, on February 14, 2012.
Her father, Mr Hosea Kili, was the first to take the witness stand where he sensationally claimed that his daughter had borrowed heavily from friends and family to finance the flashy lifestyle of former television personality Louis Otieno.
“Trouble with Careen started when Louis Otieno moved to a house next to ours in Rose Park Apartments, Kilimani. My wife was the first to notice that Careen was having a relationship with Louis Otieno,” he said.
He narrated that he started to lose money in unclear circumstances in his house including Sh600,000 he intended to start a project.
“I later learnt that Careen was stealing my money. When I asked her, she admitted that she stole to pay Mr Otieno’s house rent, his upkeep and pay hospital bills,” he said.
According to his testimony, Careen, a former student of University of East Africa Baraton, moved out of her parents’ house without notifying them to rent her own apartment.
He claimed his daughter incurred heavy debts to finance Mr Otieno’s lifestyle including purchasing him a state of the art Range Rover.
“I started receiving shocking information from my friends and family members that she borrowed money from them. She had also used Sh1.2 million meant for a business venture to finance Mr Otieno’s lifestyle.
In total, she had borrowed Sh3,000,000 from her father’s friends and close family members.
He also claimed that his daughter was found dead a day after she had revealed to the family how Mr Otieno had been blackmailing her.
“In a meeting held in my house on February 12, 2012, she was full of remorse and revealed how Mr Otieno had been extorting money from her. We agreed to assist her pay her debts and she tearfully requested to come back home since she could not afford to pay her house rent for the apartment,” the father explained.
He added: “During the meeting, her phone kept on ringing but she would press the stop button. At one point her mother snatched it from her and realised it was Mr Otieno who was calling her.”
After the meeting, his son drove her to her apartment. “That was the last time I saw my daughter Careen alive,” he said.
A postmortem report indicated that she had been strangled, according to the father.
Mr Louis Otieno has since denied involvement in Ms Chepchumba’s death. He is expected to testify in the inquest.
The inquest has delayed for four years because key witnesses, including the woman’s parents, had in the past not availed themselves in court.
Here are photos of Suzzanne, the woman Louis snatched from Gido.