What you need to know:
- Kevin Okal’s childhood friend did not know that one of the items his passenger was taking to the police station was a human head.
- Young man was once taken to a borstal institution after being found with several rolls of cannabis.
The killing of a hapless septuagenarian in Kisumu on Easter Monday has left residents, friends and neighbours scratching their heads for answers.
In a horrifying incident, a teenager reportedly decapitated his grandmother and casually took the severed head in a bucket to the police station, where he surrendered.
With the motive still unknown, Nyalenda estate locals are still in shock.
Kevin Okal, 19, who is the grandson of the murdered woman, is in police custody.
Neighbours interviewed said the man is a petty criminal.
They added that he stabbed a man a month ago and was once sent to a borstal institution for being found with drugs.
During one of the holiest days of the Christian calendar, Jane Adhiambo, 70, was supposed to be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ but was instead killed in the most barbaric fashion.
“Kevo asked me to take him to Central Police Station. He had a basket with a bag inside in his left hand while his right hand held a yellow bucket. I assumed he was taking a meal to a detained relative or a friend,” Mr Gideon Odhiambo, 21 told the Nation.
There was silence between the two young men during the 10-minute ride, he said.
Okal alighted from the motorbike at the police station, paid the Sh50 fare and casually walked to the report office.
“I learnt about the gruesome killing 15 minutes later when police came to get the body. What happened has affected me badly. I have known Kevo since our childhood. Why did he kill his grandmother? Just why did he kill her? I could not sleep on Monday,” a distraught Odhiambo said.
“During our ride to the police station, Kevo asked me to stop at a shop to buy airtime. His bags and bucket were on my motorbike but I suspected nothing. I did not even touch them.”
Friends and relatives have begun pushing Mr Odhiambo to visit elders in the village for “cleansing”.
“Many people have told me to go for cleansing, fearing some evil spirits might follow me. I will not do that for I am prayerful. I am not guilty or party to the poor woman’s killing,” Mr Odhiambo added.
In Nyalenda, the metal front door of the victim’s house – now a crime scene – remained locked yesterday. Ms Adhiambo’s relations have not shown up since the killing.
Curious onlookers surveyed the scene from a distance. Neighbours said Okal keeps to himself and often harassed his grandmother for money, food and other basics.
Hours before she met her death, Ms Adhiambo bought a packet of milk and a loaf of bread from a nearby shop around 10.30am.
She was never seen again but Okal was seen by neighbours around noon pouring out some dirty water from a yellow bucket before he left.
Stabbed a man
Little is known about his parents since he has been living with his grandmother since childhood.
No family member was around the home as is usually the case with local culture to begin funeral arrangements.
Okal went to Pand Pieri Primary School in Kisumu. He did not go to secondary school. Friends said he was a disciplined pupil.
“I used to take him to Repentance and Holiness Ministry Church in Kasagam. Kevo was an average pupil. He also tried his luck in carpentry,” Mr Odhiambo told the Nation.
But some neighbours had a different view of the man.
“He never helped his grandmother with domestic chores and always returned home drunk. He is a bhang smoker and would shout while demanding food from her,” a neighbour said.
The neighbour added that Okal would insist on being given the rent collected from the old woman’s tenants at the end of every month.
Another said Okal recently stabbed a man and disappeared for a month.
He was reportedly sent to Shikusa Juvenile Remand Home in Kakamega in 2017 when he was found guilty of stealing a phone and being in possession of several rolls of bhang.
Children in such institutions do not receive formal education but are assigned to work in teams around prison grounds.
They get training in tailoring, carpentry, sign-writing, brick-making, agriculture and other skills.