Former Tharaka Nithi governor aspirant found dead in his car

Residents mill around the car belonging to Felix Gitari Mbiuki, a former governor aspirant in Tharaka Nithi County, who was found dead inside the vehicle at Kanyuambora market on Tuesday morning. [Muriithi Mugo, Standard]

Police in Mbeere North, Embu County, are investigating the death of a former governorship aspirant whose body was discovered in his car at Kanyuambora market on Tuesday morning.

Felix Gitari, who contested the Tharaka Nithi governor seat last year, could have committed suicide, according to the police.

Mbeere North sub-county police commander Eric Yego said they discovered a bullet wound on Gitari's body upon examining it.

"A firearm with eight rounds of 9mm ammunition was recovered. We also found one spent cartridge of 9mm at the scene. We also recovered a wallet with Sh35,000 in his pocket," Yego said.

The deceased also served as County Clerk of Machakos County. Gitari ventured into business after his bid for the Tharaka Nithi governor seat failed.

Yego said a brother to the deceased told police Gitari left his Weru home in Tharaka Nithi on Monday, July 17, at 3 pm and went quiet. He said they had tried tracing him through his phones which went unanswered.

"Residents of Kanyuambora noticed a car that had been parked by the roadside since yesterday evening. They became suspicious and made a report to the police. Officers from Ishiara Police Station visited the scene and confirmed the occupant was dead," Yego said.

He said police officers took the body to Tenri Private Hospital mortuary awaiting a postmortem.

"The DCI officers from Mbeere North division have already commenced investigations into the matter," Yego said.

The deceased was the patron of the Gitari Mbiuki Foundation. He vied for Tharaka Nithi County's top seat on a Chama cha Kazi party and finished a distant fifth with 1,461 votes in a contest that saw the re-election of Governor Muthomi Njuki of UDA who won with 97,151 votes.

Others in the race were former Chuka University Vice Chancellor Erastus Njoka, who finished second with 58,152, Mzalendo Kibunjia of Narc Kenya who garnered 1,954 votes, then Deputy Governor Francis Kagwima of Wiper who got 1,562 and Kaugi Mboya who garnered 622 votes.