On June 7, 2013, a four-month pregnant woman, Ms Irene Ager Awuor was driven to a city hospital while bleeding, after being directed there by her alleged boyfriend.
The alleged boyfriend was Mr Kituku Kinyae, husband to Dr Doreen Lugaliki, who recently died of Covid-19.
On the fateful night, Ms Ager said she was chatting to her Ugandan boyfriend, Mr Eric Pepah, who worked for Mr Kinyae. She said Mr Pepah was using Kinyae’s phone.
Ms Ager says they chatted with her boyfriend the whole day till 9pm, when Mr Kinyae took his phone. Unfortunately at around 11pm, she started experiencing pains and texted her boyfriend using Mr Kinyae’s number.
Unknown to her, the phone was in Dr Lugaliki’s hands, who now engaged her and directed her (Ms Ager) to a city hospital she (Dr Lugaliki) worked for but left in 2011. She posed as her boyfriend, Mr Pepah.
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Ager, speaking to a local publication in 2014 said that Dr Lugaliki wrongly assumed Ager was sleeping with her husband.
Upon arriving at the hospital, she met Dr Lugaliki who started taking her photos.
“Dr Lugaliki started taking pictures of me with her phone while the male doctor stood on the side watching. I was in pain and asked them to attend to me urgently. She asking me questions before they walked out and started conversing in low tones,” recalls Ager.
“I found myself in the ward in the morning after coming back to my senses. My cousin who arrived later, told me that the pregnancy had been terminated.
“I was discharged in the morning. My cousin came and paid the bill amounting to Sh70,000. Dr Lugaliki was there. She asked me many questions; wanting to know where I live, work and about my family. She also took pictures of me with her phone again,” claims Ager.
Ms Ager’s boyfriend, Mr Pepah, never came to the hospital till the next day. This was the last time Ms Ager saw his boyfriend, as he left never to be seen again.
Ms Ager’s story was echoed by Mr Kinyae, who agrees that Pepah was using his phone that day. He also agreed that the wife, Dr Lugaliki, left home that night and came back in the morning with a woman’s photo asking who she was.
“We parted at 9pm. I went home, ate and slept. I was asleep when the lady (Ager) began sending messages. When I woke up in the morning, I realised my wife had left the house at night. That was normal because she is a doctor. She came back at 6.30am waving a photograph of a woman on her phone and demanding to know who the woman was. The more I tried to explain, the more she couldn’t listen.
“We have since parted, and she is now using the picture of that woman in court against me. When I think about this issue and other things that have happened, I get scared,” said Mr Kinyae.
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By the time the story became public, Dr Lugaliki and her former husband Mr Kinyae were engaged in a court tussle over child support. Dr Lugaliki said the story had come to the media to intimidate her, while Mr Kinyae felt that he was wrongly accused.
“This whole thing is based on a case I have filed against my estranged husband for child support. You are a journalist. Ask yourself, If this alleged ‘abortion’ occurred in June last year, why is this thing coming up now – almost nine months later,” Dr Lugaliki told the media in 2014.
Dr Lugaliki differed with her husband’s story, saying that actually it is her husband who took Ms Ager to hospital in pretense that he was meeting a client.
“It is actually him (Kinyae) who took her to hospital, not me. That night, he came home at about 9pm but left at 11pm saying he was going to meet a client. He didn’t come back till 2.30 am. I was awake because I was reading for an exam.
“Of course I was suspicious. Who meets clients at 11pm I noticed he had left one of his phones at home and when I checked through his inbox, and saw messages about bleeding and stomach pains, that’s the first time I knew about Ager. I was furious,” said Dr Lugaliki, in 2014.
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Dr Lugaliki added, “I immediately sent those messages to my e-mail and when he came home, I confronted him. He kept quiet for ten minutes and then admitted everything, that he’d been having an affair with Ager. The next morning, he came home and showed me a photograph of Ager sitting on a hospital bed. It is him who took that photograph and you can see from her pose that she doesn’t seem tense as would be the case if she was being photographed by a stranger.”
In one of the messages quoted by Nairobian in 2014, Ager allegedly said that she was sorry “for everything I have done to you and your family. I swear I did not mean to harm anyone not even the slightest bit…”
A neighbour quoted by the publication alleged that the two had been in constant fights, and even Mr Kinyae admitted to cheating in that very incident before they part ways.
“The fallout last June was terrible. What I recall is that during a meeting to reconcile them, he said, ‘I don’t know what I was doing, and I’m not going to repeat it, but we can’t go on talking about it’,” the unnamed neighbour said.
By the time they part ways, the two were blessed with two children.
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Dr Lugaliki was the first Kenyan doctor to die of Covid-19, and was buried on Monday in Tongaren, Bungoma county.
Before her untimely passing, Dr Lugaliki worked at Gertrude Hospital, then Nairobi Women’s Hospital and later at Aga Khan Hospital.
Until her death, she worked at Nairobi South Hospital.
Dr Lugaliki had been admitted to Aga Khan University Hospital on Monday, July 5, and was diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious complication that occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin.
A diabetic, she died on July 10.
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