Mutula death: Hunt for clues intensifies

By Standard Team

Nairobi,kenya:The family of the late Senator Mutula Kilonzo, the Director of Public Prosecutions and police investigators are keen to establish if there was foul play in the circumstances leading to his death over the weekend.

The family has invited a foreign expert to come and take part in the postmortem examination on Mutula’s body and organs. To allow for the foreign pathologist to take part in the exercise, the family asked that the autopsy that was to take place yesterday be moved to today.

Sources within Mutula’s circle of family friends also revealed the family of the late Justice and Education minister was discussing the possibility of flying in foreign investigators to help unravel what could have killed him as he slept alone in Maanzoni Ranch, Machakos County.

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The Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Keriako Tobiko, picked a team of prosecutors to help police with investigations.

Mr Tobiko named a team of prosecutors to assist and guide the police investigating the death of the late Mutula.

The team of prosecutors will be headed by Senior Assistant DPP, Ms Grace Murungi, while the deputy head of investigations at Criminal Investigations Department, Mr Pius Macharia, would lead police. “I do direct that upon completion of these investigations, do kindly cause the resultant inquiry file to be submitted to this office for perusal and appropriate direction,” said Tobiko in a letter to Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo.

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The investigating teams will take up from where the local probe teams had left, including analysing food samples collected from Mutula’s home, where he had his last meal of nyama choma and githeri (mixture of beans and maize).

The South African-based British Pathologist the family hired is set to join Chief Government Pathologist Dr Johansen Oduor and other local pathologists in conducting the exercise at the Lee Funeral Home.

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Sources close to Mutula’s family told The Standard Mutula had expressed fears for life before and including the day he died over reasons yet to be unravelled, most likely early Saturday morning.

“We have information that the Mutula Kilonzo had told a couple of people of the threat to his life and that happened including even the day he died,” added the source on condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the matter and ongoing investigations.

Funeral committees

At the same time the sources also disclosed apart from the foam found on Mutula’s mouth when his body was discovered, he is also said to have vomited blood. “There were traces of blood from what he had vomited on the sink,” added the sources.

Sources further told The Standard that family members and relatives were equally toying with the idea of hiring of foreign homicide investigators to conduct independent investigations.

If that happens then the investigations will take the direction of the former UK’s Scotland Yard’s investigator John Troon who was brought over to probe the murder former Foreign Affairs minister Dr Robert Ouko.

Mutula’s family assisted by funeral committees decided that the burial date is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, May 9, at his Kwa Kyelu Ranch, in Maanzoni. The committee also left the preceding Tuesday and Wednesday open just in case a decision was taken to shift the burial to either of these two days.

Family spokesman and brother-in-law Chris Musau said Mutula confirmed the burial date after a family meeting at the late Senator’s ranch. “The family has decided Mutula’s remains will be buried at his farm and not his Mbooni rural home,” he told The Standard on telephone.

The ranch where he died was a place he so loved and where he spent most of his weekends whenever he was in town. It is an expansive 1,500-acre ranch where he kept lions, cheetahs, buffaloes, ostriches as well as livestock.

Mutula occasionally would joke with this Standard journalist of how he found peace after a grueling week in public service within the serene atmosphere of this ranch. “I am always woken up by Mutula and Nduku (in reference to the lion and lioness which he had nicknamed after himself and his wife) with their loud voices.”

Musau said burial arrangement meetings would be held at Milimani African Inland Church in Nairobi from today.

But questions continued to pile as to why the Mutula failed to call for help when he began feeling unwell yet he had his cellphone, which was active long after he had passed on.

Questions are also being raised as to where the food he ate had come from as well as where it was prepared.

There are also questions being raised as to whom he met in his final moments as well as on the fateful day he died and who had interacted with him either by phone or physically for the last two days before tragedy struck.

Investigators have the Herculean task of piecing together details that could counter rising speculation his death might not have been caused by natural causes.

Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama, who is chairing the burial committee, said the foreign pathologist is expected in the country this morning.

Demand answers

He did not give the specific details of the foreign pathologist, but indicated that he had been contacted with the approval of Mutula’s family.

Muthama revealed that the post-mortem examination, which was scheduled to be conducted yesterday afternoon, was pushed to today to allow the foreign expert to take part. “Not that there are any difficulties but because it was the wishes of the family to have an independent pathologist to conduct the post-mortem examination alongside other doctors. We are expecting the pathologist from UK to arrive tomorrow (today) at 6am, before the post-mortem is conducted in the afternoon,” said Muthama. The British pathologist is base in South Africa.

Addressing the press at Senate Press Centre, the Machakos Senator, said it was  the feeling of both the family and other leaders that thorough investigation be conducted to ascertain the cause of death.

“We are not dealing with any other Kenyan here; we are dealing with a top politician in this country and a renowned leader. We must be in a position to tell Kenyans the clear cause of his death,” he said.

The planners

Muthama said the decision to involve a foreign expert in the autopsy should not be misconstrued as having any suspicions on the cause of death, but only the desires to get the best explanation to give Kenyans on the death of the former Senator.

“We just want to be thorough because Kenyans will demand answers on the death of a person who was in such good health and who could even drive himself and inspect his ranch. His death cannot just be wished away,” added Muthama. He said the foreign expert could not have made it to the country earlier since he had only been contacted on Sunday.

On the burial arrangements, Muthama said it was the feeling of those planning the funeral that they give enough time for the many people who would wish to attend to prepare themselves.

“For a person of Mutula’s status, we felt there is need to create enough time for as many people to make arrangements to attend the burial. We have not agreed on the specific day but we are considering either next Wednesday or Thursday,” he said.

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