The family of LGBTQ rights activist Edwin Kiprotich Kipruto alias Chiloba has refuted claims that their kin was a member of the Gay Society of Kenya.
The family has described the deceased as a pastor and a dedicated Christian.
“We are perturbed with what we are seeing on social media that our son was involved in ungodly practices. What we know is that he was a servant of God and even locals in our village knew him as a pastor,” Gaudencia Tanui, a cousin to Chiloba said.
Ms Gaudencia, who described Chiloba as a leader from his childhood, claimed that his death had exposed the family to issues that they never knew about him. She criticised the social media users for being insensitive to the agony the family was undergoing following the death of their son.
“Edwin was an obedient son who grew up in church. If you want to know more about his spiritual life go to St Francis Kimuron in Elgeyo Marakwet County where he was a renowned pastor who ministered to many souls as the servant of God,” she said.
The Fourth Year University of Eldoret Fashion and Design student was described as a polite, caring and law-abiding citizen by his sister Gladys Kiptoo.
“As a family, we are very saddened by the death of my brother. He was a law-abiding citizen and we will miss him. It is unfortunate that after his murder, we are hearing so many evil things being levelled against my brother on social media,” said Ms Kiptoo.
Ms Kiptoo regretted that social media users had tainted the image of their brother by associating him with various evils. She accused social media users of spreading rumours and propaganda in relation to the killing of Mr Chiloba.
The family is hopeful that investigations by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and a post-mortem report will reveal what happened to their kin. An autopsy is expected to be conducted this week.
“We have confidence that DCI will do thorough investigations to expose our son’s killers,” added Ms Kiptoo.
This emerged on Monday as the Eldoret Chief Magistrates Court allowed detectives to detain five suspects linked to the murder of the fashion designer for 21 days pending investigations.
The five suspects appeared before Senior Principal Magistrate Richard Odenyo on Monday.
The suspects include Jacktone Odhiambo, Dennis Litali and three minors who will be subjected to age assessment before hearing of the case commences.
Magistrate Odenyo gave the direction following an application by investigating officers through a sworn affidavit.
While making his application, Chief Inspector Mumba Stephen told the court that the prime suspect Jacktone Odhiambo had started shifting the deceased belongings to his home in Huruma estate on the outskirts of Eldoret town.
The investigating officer told the court that detectives are yet to recover a mobile phone belonging to the deceased, which is expected to help police to get more information that could aid in the arrest of more suspects.
He revealed to the court that the suspects in custody helped in transporting and dumping Chiloba’s body which was stuffed in a metallic box.
The court further heard that the suspects are a flight risk and if released, would interfere with investigations.
The prosecution objected to their release on bond saying that the matter had generated a lot of public interest, hence if the suspects are released their life would be in danger.
The case will be mentioned on January 31.
Chiloba’s body was discovered stuffed in a metallic box that was found dumped along the Kipkenyo - Katinga road on January 4.
Police have also impounded a vehicle believed to have been used to dispose of the fashion designer’s body.
Preliminary investigations have since revealed that Chiloba’s eye was gouged out and he had other injuries.
His death sparked public outcry, with human rights organisations condemning the incident and calling for speedy investigations.
Chiloba never shied away from dressing like a woman and sharing images on social media.