Government officials on Thursday raided an orphanage in Likoni that has been caught up in the probe of the murder of 25-year-old Mombasa Aviation student Josephat Muiruri.
A multi-agency team stormed the Hope for Hope orphanage in the Ujamaa area at exactly 11:30 am with the Mombasa county director of children affairs Philip Nzenge saying officials want to establish whether the center which he says is operating illegally is linked to human trafficking and child abuse.
“The center was initially registered as a community-based organization, CBO, in 2015 but it is not clear how unscrupulous owners secretly turned it into an orphanage without following due diligence,” Nzenge said.
The orphanage has been taking care of 29 children (17 boys and 12) girls all from the Shika Adabu area and parents were ordered to take back their children.
Nzenge added that the officials had established that the orphanage was also hosting elderly men and women.
The late student is reported to have been a regular at the orphanage premises that is run by 30-year-old Reginald Odhiambo where he was regularly hired for cooking and cleaning tasks.
On the fateful day, Muiruri is reported to have been seen entering the orphanage premises to attend Odhiambo’s 30th birthday party a few hours before a good samaritan picked him outside the orphanage while bleeding profusely.
According to Muriruri’s aunt Alice Kaweche, his nephew who was barely audible was pronounced dead when he got to the hospital.
” He was having a lot of trouble speaking and he told me that he had been beaten at the orphanage,” Kaweche said.
The family has claimed that their kin must have been lured into the orphanage after he was suspected of sexual misconduct with underage girls at the orphanage.
Last week, Odhiambo who insisted that Muiruri was assaulted outside the orphanage told a local paper that Muiruri had been linked to sexual misconduct at the center.
“I got information from other children that he had attempted to defile a young girl. I took immediate action as the leader and sent a student to go to his home and call him as I wanted to get the truth.” Odhiambo, the orphanage owner was quoted by the paper.
According to the Likoni DCIO Richard Koywer, Odhiambo and another suspect were arrested immediately after the incident before being released on police bail pending a post mortem.
However, no one has so far been charged over the incident that occurred more than two weeks ago with the family accusing the DCIO office in Likoni of attempting to cover up the murder.
“ They did not share the post mortem results with us they just told us that my nephew died from lung collapse which is strange because he had not reported any lung complications before the incident” Muiruri’s aunt Kaweche said.
On Friday, Likoni DCIO Richard Koywer refused to comment on the matter insisting that investigations were still ongoing.
Koywer further asked journalists to get a comment from the Likoni OCPD Jane Munywoki who then referred journalists back to him.