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The day Wajackoyah was a sensation in British capital

Prof George Wajackoyah. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

Bhang, prostitution and snake and its venom make a toxic cocktail. But then George Wajackoyah is not an ordinary person.

He is a presidential candidate rubbing the church and anti-narcotic campaigners the wrong way. He is also not a stranger to sensational media publicity.

Thirty years ago, Wajackoyah kicked off a storm in Kenya, South Africa and Britain so much so that at some point some media outlets feared touching his story. The genesis of his problem was the manner he had fled the country and how he explained the circumstances.

When he fled the country in September and ultimately landed in London, he created a big sensation. There were reasons to believe he had some answers to the horrific murders of former Foreign Affairs minister Robert Ouko and British tourist Julie Ward.

He claimed to know the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr Ouko, and the killers from eavesdropping on telephone conversation when he worked for the Special Branch as a member of the police "music box" unit.

There were reports of some people claiming to be the former spy's intermediaries approaching Julie Ward's father with a proposition to be paid £2,500 (Sh360,000) in exchange of information about the gruesome murder. The distraught father rejected the deal. 

He had worked with the government as a spy and was involved in the police investigation of Ouko’s murder, which placed him in mortal danger. A number of investigators and witnesses who had been involved in the murder had died in mysterious circumstances.

Former Foreign Affairs minister Robert Ouko. [File, Standard]

At the time, he was spirited out of the country, Wajackoyah believed he was targeted by powerful forces who did not want him to disclose some of the secrets he had unearthed concerning the minister’s murder.

In a story published on May 24, 1992, Arnold Raphael wrote: "But debriefing sessions by Scotland Yard officers this week and recently by members of M16, the secret intelligence service, and interviews by London journalists, have produced little if anything more than what has been doing the rounds for months in Nairobi. Hence Kenya. The doubts about Wajackoyah's bona fides."

His claims about Julie Ward killers and attempts to work out an arrangement with Ward’s father were unsuccessful, just as a planned TV interview because of what London called “credibility” gaps. At first, there were reports that Wajackoyah was affiliated with the Nelson Mandela led ANC of South Africa but this was debunked after it emerged he had not fought for freedom in South Africa.

“It seems he travelled from India via Scandinavia and France. It was in India that he found a woman who now lives in Bath… he evidently told her that he was an ANC activist on the run from South Africa.”

Today, Wajackoyah, the Roots Party leader wants to liberate Kenya from the clutches of Chinese debt by selling marijuana and snake venom and meat as well as legalising prostitution.