JKUAT students hold candle-lighting vigil for late Rita Waeni

• The 20-year-old died on Sunday Jan 14th in a murder that shocked the country.

Roysambu and Rita Waeni

A candle-lighting ceremony to honour the life of the late Rita Waeni, who was murdered last week was held on Tuesday, Jan 23 night.

The vigil was held at the Pavillion at 6 pm. Hundreds of students turned up and stood in the dark holding candles as they silently bowed their heads.

In the middle of the Pavillion were candles spelling out her name and the word RIP.

They sang Swahili songs like Reuben Kigame ft Sifa Voices 'Enda Nasi' which made several comrades tear up.

Reuben Kigame describes the songs as a prayer of someone at the end of the road. It is drawn from Exodus 33 where God asks Moses and the Israelites to break camp and move on towards the Promised Land, but Moses entreats God saying that unless He goes with them, they are not ready to go.

In multiple TikTok videos, her fellow students appeared in a somber mood, reflecting on the incident that has shocked the country.

One friend wrote,

"Let's shine light and lead our girl home to a safe place🕯❤️🕊 We your friends Rita love and we'll forever cherish the fond memories you left with us. Rest in peace my love Rita(small)."

Rita was a third-year student.

Police have named the two suspects William Ovie Opia, and Johnbull Asbor, who are in custody after being arrested in a rented flat in Ndenderu, Kiambu County.

Opia had an expired Nigerian passport and Asbor had lost his passport two years ago, police said.

The police seized several items from the suspects' apartment, including a butcher's knife and a small axe suspected to have been used in the killing and mutilation of the university student.

Her remains were discovered in plastic bags at a rental apartment in Roysambu, on 14 January. Her head was missing, along with her phone and other personal items.

Police asked the Court to keep the men in custody until 31 January, as their investigations were continuing. The magistrate granted their request.

A protest over femicide will be held on the 27th of this month. DCI has also taken over the case. they will do a forensic test on the head that was recovered in Kiambaa.

The head was recovered in Kiambaa Dam in Kiambu County on Sunday and the case was previously being handled by  Kasarani DCIO since Waeni’s mutilated body was discovered.

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