By Tysan, 19 September 2018  |  Governor Zachary Obado, chief elected official for Migori County in Kenya, has been arrested in connection with the kidnap and murder of a young, female university student and abduction of a journalist who was interviewing her. Obado is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination.

The governor denied the allegations through his press secretary before he was arrested. Adventist Today has learned that he was supposed to travel to Rwanda to represent the Kenyan Council of Governors at the African Green Revolution Forum, but reliable sources confirmed to Adventist Today that he was not present in the public meeting. He has not issued any further statements.

Sharon Otieno was a medical records and information student at Rongo University. Her body was found in the Kodera Forest in Homa Bay County and an autopsy confirmed that she was pregnant.

Barrack Oduor, a reporter for the Nation newspaper, was investigating an alleged affair between Obado and Otieno. As he was interviewing the student, they were reportedly lured outside by the governor’s assistant Michael Oyamo, who has also been arrested. They were forced into a car, according to media reports of the police investigation. The reporter managed to jump out of the moving vehicle and escaped on foot with serious injuries.

“She played the recording between her and the governor,” said the reporter in an interview broadcast on NTV. “They were speaking in vernacular and the governor was pleading with her to procure an abortion. He even promised to give her money if she procured the abortion. He told her if she wanted to be a good girl she should do what he wanted. He claimed as a governor he could not endure such … shame,” Oduor told NTV.

The governor has denied he had an affair with Otieno. But Melinda Otieno, the slain student’s mother, has confirmed her daughter had a romantic relationship with the politician. She has reportedly handed over a phone to police. “The phone was on and some anonymous individuals tried to call it,” Mrs. Otieno told the Nation newspaper. “My other daughter knew the PIN and switched it on to find numerous calls marked unknown. It was impossible to call them back.”

Tysan is a correspondent for Adventist Today based in eastern Africa and traveled to Kenya to cover this story. The photo is the official portrait of Governor Obado from the Migori County government.