Uasin Gishu: The body of a Kenyan student who committed suicide in Finland will be flown home next week
A Kenyan student who committed suicide in Finland last month will be buried next Friday after the family finalized plans to fly the body back home.
Rodgers Kipruto, 26, died on April 18, 2023, and his family in Kesses, Uasin Gishu county, announced on Thursday that Finnish police had completed their investigations and released his body.
Kipruto had expressed frustrations in the foreign country as a result of a standoff between the County Government of Uasin Gishu and his parents over the modalities of settling fee arrears so that he could continue with his nursing degree studies at Laurea University.
"We are relieved that the body will finally arrive in the country next Tuesday, if not Wednesday, and burial arrangements have been made for Friday," his elder brother, Mr Boniface Kemboi, said.
He revealed that the national government will cover the costs, including having the body flown to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), while the Uasin Gishu County Government will cover the costs from JKIA to Eldoret International Airport.
"The county government has promised to cover the funeral expenses and transport the body to our Chirchir home in Kesses for burial on Friday," Mr Kemboi added.
He revealed that the family was able to raise Sh1.3 million of the Sh4 million budgeted for funeral and other expenses.
"We struggled to raise the money and were able to get Sh1.3 million, which will cover other expenses," he explained.
The late Kipruto was among students from Uasin Gishu County who were airlifted to Finland as part of a study agreement between the devolved unit and three Finnish universities, but he later cited frustrations in Finland.
202 county students were airlifted to Tampere, Jyvaskyla, and Laurea universities to study.
A stalemate between the county government and parents over how to settle fee arrears so that students can continue their studies, among other complications, appears to have taken its toll on the student, who chose to end his life.
This came after it was revealed that some county officials had tampered with the study funds, putting the students at risk of deportation.
Under the study arrangement, Laurea University, which had 66 physiotherapy and nursing students from the county, had put studies on hold for students until their tuition fees for the second semester were paid.
Parents were supposed to pay school fees through a trust account, with the county government acting as a guarantor.
The study agreement was reached during the reign of Governor Jackson Mandago, now a senator in Uasin Gishu, who has denied any wrongdoing in relation to the program.
He claimed that officials from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) never visited his office to investigate embezzlement allegations.
An ad hoc county assembly committee formed in February to investigate the program recommended that the managers of the overseas education account be investigated for forgery, abuse of office, and other offenses.