Two Kenyan athletes have been arrested after a Rwandan runner was found dead at a renowned training centre in western Kenya following an alleged involvement in what local media have dubbed a “love triangle”.
Siragi Rubayita, 34, was training in the town of Iten before a competition in Italy. His family claim he was killed in what they have described as “a senseless act of violence when a fellow athlete and his girlfriend invited him to their home the night before his departure”.
The family are calling for “truth and justice” for their son who was “pursuing his passion for running and sports excellence”.
Police investigating the incident that led to Mr Rubayita’s death say two Kenyan athletes, a male and a female, are the main suspects.
Nasra Bishumba, Mr Rubayita’s sister, told the BBC that her brother was expected back home in Kigali on Friday before his scheduled trip to Italy.
She said his coaches in Iten were “instrumental” in searching for him when his roommate raised the alarm after his failure to return home.
“After informing us, they immediately started working with the police and that’s how the suspects were apprehended,” she said.
According to local reports, the Kenyan male athlete was allegedly unhappy with the relationship between Rubayita and the Kenyan female athlete.
A post-mortem has been carried out and Mr Rubayita’s body has now been repatriated to Rwanda ahead of his funeral after the family dispatched a team to Iten “to bring him home where we intend to give him love and honour him for the exceptional son and brother that he was”.
Rwanda’s High Commission in Kenya has told the BBC that a diplomat is “on the ground to follow up on the case”.
Mr Rubayita has represented Rwanda in international competitions in Africa and Europe.
In June, he finished 13th in the Kigali International Peace Marathon.