Nairobi, Oct 23 (IANS) Thousands of people including Kenyan athletes, coaches and residents came out on the streets on Friday and Saturday to pay homage to former world 10,000m bronze medallist and cross country champion Agnes Tirop, who was found dead in her house last week,soon after returning from a competition in Europe.
Tirop’s funeral was conducted on Saturday which was also attended by a large number of people. The procession was taken out on Friday.
Besides condoling the death of Agnes, fans at the procession in Eldoret town in Uasin Gishu capital in the Rift Valley in Kenya, carried a giant banner urging people to stop violence against women. After a brief prayer session and viewing of the body at the Eldoret Hospital Mortuary, the mourners, led by hundreds of world-beaters, took to the streets of Eldoret in a procession that lasted close to two hours, media reports said.
“Holding a giant banner with the phrase “End Gender-Based Violence” and with Tirop’s images emblazoned on it, the message was clear — the athletics fraternity is fed up with the domestic squabbles that have now taken one of the country’s rising stars,” said local newspaper ‘The East African’ in a report appearing in its online edition.
On Saturday, hundreds of people thronged Mosoriot town to witness Tirop’s burial. Those who attended the funeral included athletes and politicians. Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei aslo turned up for the final send off to the late athlete in her rural home Kapnyemisa.
Tirop was found dead in her home in Iten last week. Police have said that Tirop’s husband, Ibrahim Rotich, is the main suspect in the murder of the two-time World Championships medallist. He was arrested last week in the coastal town of Mombasa and has since been in custody awaiting trial, the report said.
Meanwhile, Athletics Kenya has applaud the country’s President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive to speed up investigations and resolution of the circumstances surrounding the heinous murder of the world 10,000m bronze medalist.
“We are confident the relevant agencies are working round the clock to ensure speedy justice to the family and friends who have been left emotionally scarred by the demise of someone they depended on for financial and psychological support,” Athletics Kenya said in a report on its website.
“As a federation and in our individual capacities, we, once more, condemn this atrocious murder. Nothing justifies taking the life of another person. Albeit the circumstances leading to this incident remain unclear, this was a death that was quite unnecessary and a huge blow not only to the athletics fraternity but also the local sporting industry of which Tirop was one of the fastest rising stars,” it said.
It also urged athletes to raise such issues with it and also any mental issues they are facing. Athletics Kenya has also postponed some cross country events as a mark of respect to Tirop.