MP met Standard journalist two days before his Saturday death

The late Joseph Masha. PHOTO: COURTSEY

KILIFI: An MP has said he had a meeting with The Standard journalist Joseph Masha a day before he died.

Mr Masha died at his home on Saturday from what is suspected to be poisoning.

The MP said Sunday that he met the journalist in Mombasa at 11am on Wednesday to discuss a story analysing the 2017 governor's race in Kilifi County. However, Masha's family insists that the two met on Thursday.

The MP said together with another MP from the Coast region, he met Masha in a car park at a club in Mombasa.

But family members say the journalist met the legislators at the club on Thursday and left with an envelope after eating what his wife, Bahati Mwalimu Ramadhan, described as "a sumptuous meal".

"It is true I met Masha about a story he wrote last week (published in The Standard on August 31). I told him I would seek the Jubilee Party ticket for my race for the governor's seat next year," said the MP, adding that before meeting in Mombasa, they had spoken by phone to arrange the meeting.

On Sunday, Ms Ramadhan said her husband had confided in her that the MPs had sought a meeting with him in Mombasa and that he was reluctant to meet them but later changed his mind after alerting some relatives and colleagues. Ramadhan said Masha returned home with an envelope. She did not disclose its contents.

The family is demanding a comprehensive investigation into Masha's death. An autopsy will be conducted on Thursday. 


"My husband died as a result of his work. All I am requesting the Government is to investigate this matter to establish what killed him," said Ramadhan.

Masha's father, Joseph Chiwete, described Masha's death as "sudden and perplexing", adding, "We want to know the truth."

The wife said when Masha arrived at the club, he did not find his hosts as planned and waited a long time for them. "When he called one of the MPs, he was told to ask for a meal of his choice as he waited," she said.

"After chatting with him, I decided to borrow some money from an MP because I did not have any. I gave it to my driver to give to Masha," said the MP. "I never shared any meals, not even tea, with Masha on that day," said the MP.

Police have asked professional colleagues, family members and other people who had an encounter with the journalist in his last days to record statements with them.

They said it was too early to say whether Masha was poisoned to death or if he died from natural causes. They advised to wait for the autopsy findings but disclosed that Criminal Investigation Department officers were on the case.