Kiptum's death: Four men who visited his home days before death speak out

The four men who visited marathoner Kelvin Kiptum’s home before the athlete died in an accident have explained why they went to the home in Elgeyo Marakwet.

They were grilled at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations office in Kaptagat on Wednesday morning after they had been summoned.

They said they went to the home to discuss with Kiptum about a Sh45 million contract he had signed with a Chinese company.

After the explanation, police said they had no link with the accident that happened in the area killing Kiptum and his coach.

According to the four men, the athlete had opted to cancel the deal and pay back the Chinese company.

They told police the company was only interested in having the athlete fulfill his contractual obligation and not a legal battle so they sent the four to negotiate a deal.

The Chinese company was to supply sports equipment to Kiptum to be used during the Chicago marathon and it is alleged that Kiptum opted to use a different brand and not the Chinese brand as agreed.

Elgeyo Marakwet County Criminal Investigations Officer Joshua Chelal said from the preliminary explanation, the four are not linked to the accident for now.

“They have explained what and why they went there. Investigations are ongoing and they will come back on Friday if needed,” he said.

He said the four were known to some family members and that they even met Kiptum over the issue.

Kiptum’s father Samson Cheruiyot had raised the alarm hours after his tragic death in a gruesome road accident along Eldoret Ravine road on Sunday night.

Kiptum’s father had spoken about four strangers who visited the athlete’s home in Chepsamo village, Kaptarakwa ward, Keiyo South, Elgeyo Marakwet, four days before his tragic death and demanded that they be investigated as they did not introduce themselves well.

Cheruiyot positively identified them at Kaptagat Police Station and the vehicle they were using was detained at Kaptagat Police Station in Keiyo South.

The burial preparations for the late Kiptum have begun with the organising committee indicating that the late athlete will be interred at this home on Saturday, February 24. 

Police said a review of the accident scene and the Toyota Premio vehicle involved in the accident that was towed to Kaptagat Police Station, showed that the front part was intact and the airbags did not deploy. 

Keiyo South OCPD Abdullahi Dahir said a review had shown the sensor of the airbag normally is at the front, and if there was no impact on the front part of the vehicle, the airbags would not move. 

“The impact (on Kiptum's car) was on the roof...on the top of the that’s why we could not see the airbags out,” he said. 

Dahir said that they had widened their probe into claims that four unknown men followed Kiptum four days before his death.

Sharon Kosgey, who survived the fatal accident unscathed, is also expected to aid police recreate events leading up to the death of the athlete and his coach.