News

Two men charged with Ugandan Olympian's murder in Kenya

By AFP

January 31, 2024 11:16 PM


 

Kenyan prosecutors on Wednesday charged two men with murdering Ugandan Olympic distance runner Benjamin Kiplagat, who was found stabbed on New Year's Eve.

David Ekhai Lokere and Peter Ushuru Khalumi denied the charges when they appeared before a magistrate's court in the Rift Valley town of Eldoret.

State counsel Antony Fedha opposed their request for bail, arguing that the duo had a criminal record and posed a flight risk.

Lokere, 25, and Khalumi, 30, were arrested on January 1, hours after the body of the 34-year-old steeplechase specialist was found with a stab wound to his neck.

While the motive remains unknown, police have said Kiplagat had been "waylaid" by the two men before he hit their motorcycle with his car in the outskirts of Eldoret.

During a career spanning 18 years, the Kenyan-born Kiplagat had represented Uganda internationally in the 3,000m steeplechase, including at several Olympic Games and World Championships.

He won the silver medal in the 3,000m steeplechase at the 2008 World Junior Championships and bronze at the Africa Championships in 2012.

He made the semi-finals of the event in the 2012 Olympics in London and also competed in Rio in 2016.

Kiplagat's death follows the killing in October 2021 of Kenyan distance running star Agnes Tirop who was found stabbed to death at the age of 25 in her home at Iten, a high-altitude training hub near Eldoret.

Kiplagat's family believes he was not specifically targeted but fell victim to thieves.

The runner, who was buried in his ancestral home in Kenya, leaves an expectant wife Viola and a 13-year-old daughter.


AFP


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