KSB On “The Standard” With Kavinga Story
Juliet Kavinga arrived in Sweden in 2002 in the search for greener pastures. An opportunity came for the woman who hailed from Kavati village, Makueni District, in the form of a modest hairdressing job. More luck appeared to come her way when she entered into a relationship with a Swedish man. But the relationship ended in tragedy. Her boyfriend was alleged to have shot her in the head and dumped the body in a lake. At the time, she was seven months pregnant.
According to police reports, her body was found floating at Lake M‰laren in the outskirts of Stockholm in July 30, 2005, three months after she went missing. Friends and relatives view the remains during the funeral service of the late Juliet Kavinga at a church in Stockholm. Kavinga had been shot in the back of the head at close range, her body packed in a tarpaulin and dumped in the lake. CCI traced her steps and last moments in Sweden. A Kenyan businessman in Sweden, Wesley Onyango, told CCI that he first met Kavinga at Fittja Beach in 2002.
“She had just arrived in Sweden and was with some of her bags at Fittja Beach during a nyama choma festival organised by Kenyans,” he remembers. Good Samaritan Onyango says she knew this was the only place she could bump into a Kenyan to assist her with accommodation. “She approached my wife and asked her if we could accommodate her since it was getting dark and she did not have a place to stay. We agreed to assist her,” he says.
They stayed with her for six months before they introduced her to a Kenyan woman who employed her at a salon in Sˆdert‰lje township. Kavinga later met her boyfriend during a 2004 group boat trip to Helsinki, Finland. They fell in love and in December 2004, she became pregnant.
According to Heidi Helena, a Kenyan friend living in Sweden, a friend from the church told Aftonbladet Newspaper that Kavinga became very worried after the pregnancy. “I am very worried about the man responsible since he is rooting for an abortion,” Kavinga is said to have confided. Her immediate fears were premised on whether she would be able to visit a anti-natal clinic with her status as an illegal immigrant.
“She was also worried that she would be thrown out of Sweden if she visited a hospital,” the report read. The man is said to have accused Kavinga of deliberately conceiving so as to gain citizenship through marriage.
“She was very disappointed when her boyfriend rejected the pregnancy. As time passed, she did not know what to do and it was apparent that she was disturbed,” Jennifer Anna, a Liberian who was Kavinga’s friend, is quoted as having told the publication.
Kavinga later called friends for a meeting on May 12, 2005. But she never turned up. On May 14, she was reported missing. Okoth Osewe, a Kenyan living in the country running the Stockholm Blog told CCI through e-mail that he was among those who followed the murder trial as it unfolded.
“I found it patriotic to document the proceedings since the media here was part of a cover-up conspiracy. To them, just another nigger had died,” he said. Osewe adds: “Court experts ruled out that the boyfriend had any motive of killing her.” Experts said it was impossible to define whether she was hit on the head with a blunt object or she was shot since her body had decomposed.
In the murder trial of her boyfriend, Winfred Mungatia, a Kenyan living in Sweden and who claimed to have been Kavinga’s friend, testified that she was the last person to talk to her alive. “I talked to her on phone on May 13 2005. I was supposed to meet her the following day but she never appeared. Later, I learnt from the police that I was the last person to communicate to her,” Mungatia said.
During the trial, the prosecution confirmed that the suspect had a romantic relationship with Kavinga, had a history of violent crimes and a record of assaulting women. Chief Prosecutor, Tora Holst, told the court that the motive of the murder was Kavinga’s refusal to secure an abortion. A section of Kavinga’s medical records that the prosecution tabled in court indicated that the accused was responsible for the pregnancy. Her expected date of delivery was July 25, 2005.
The prosecution also tabled audiovisuals showing a small lorry, which was at the highway heading to where Kavinga’s body was dumped. The accused was reported to have been behind the wheels. “The suspect returned the lorry to the hiring company on May 15, 2005 at 18.46, two days after Kavinga disappeared,” Holst submitted. In July 2006, he was acquitted to the dismay of Kavinga’s friends.
The courts refused to recognise the 34-year-old as a “suspect” with probable motive of murdering Kavinga, Osewe says. Eventually, the court ruled that there was insufficient evidence.
The then first secretary at the Kenyan Embassy in Sweden, George Kinyua, attended all the court sessions and even the memorial service held on September 12 2005. Today, as Kavinga rests in peace in her father’s compound in Makueni, her relatives have one unanswered question: Why has justice eluded us?
Standard story is HERE
KSB NOTE: Facts in the story have been lifted from several KSB articles in the “KSB Files”. Looks like The Standard has an eye on KSB but do I say?