Family: LGBTQ activist Edwin Chiloba ‘was a pastor’
The family of murdered fashion designer and LGBTQ rights activist Edwin Kiprotich Kipruto alias Chiloba has described the deceased as a pastor who was a dedicated Christian since his secondary education.
Speaking to the media at the Eldoret chief Magistrate court, Chiloba’s relatives refuted social media claims the deceased was a member of the Gay Society of Kenya.
“We are perturbed with what we are hearing through 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,” said Gaudencia Tanui, a cousin to Chiloba.
Ms Gaudncia described Mr Chiloba as a leader from his childhood to University adding his death has exposed the family to issues that they never knew about him.
She criticized social media for being insensitive to the agony of the family after losing their son who was excelling as a model.
“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.
A fourth-year student at the University of Eldoret studying Fashion and Design, Chiloba has been described as a polite, caring and law-abiding brother by his sister Gladys Kiptoo.
“As a family we are very much saddened by the demise of my brother, he was a law-abiding brother whom we loved very much. It is unfortunate that after his murder is when we are hearing so many evil things being leveled against my brother through social media,” said Ms Kiptoo.
Ms Kiptoo regretted that social media has tainted the image of the late by associating him with various evils.
She accused social media users of spreading rumors 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 postmortem report will reveal what happened to the deceased.
“We have confidence that DCI will do thorough investigations to expose the killers of our son,” added Ms Kiptoo.
And in a related development, an Eldoret court has directed detectives to detain five suspects for 21 days pending investigations into Chiloba’s death.
The suspects include Jacktone Odhiambo, Dennis Litali, and three minors whose exact age will be determined after age assessment to be ordered before hearing of the case commences.
Senior Principal Magistrate Richard 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 the prime suspect Jacktone Odhiambo had started shifting the deceased belongings to his home in Huruma estate at the outskirts of Eldoret town.
The investigating officer who told the court that detectives are yet to recover a mobile phone belonging to the deceased which will also help police to get more information that could lead to the arrest of more suspects.
He told court the suspects helped in transporting the body of the deceased and dumping it.
The court further heard the suspects are a flight risk and will interfere with investigations if released.
Chiloba’s body was discovered stuffed in a metallic box in Kipkenyo, Eldoret, on January 4, 2023.
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.
An autopsy is expected to be conducted this week.
His death has 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.
The case will be mentioned on January 31.