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Mystery deaths in Kenya since 2013

By Oscar Obonyo | February 8th 2015

The brutal murder of Kabete MP George Muchai yesterday morning is just one among a series of high profile deaths witnessed since 2013. Unlike Muchai, who was felled by a lone gunman, most have followed a curious trend of victims dropping dead — some in unclear and suspicious circumstances. Below are instances of political and public figures, whose untimely deaths took many Kenyans by surprise and some, who died under circumstances that remain hazy to this day.

Mutula Kilonzo: The former Makueni County Senator was found dead at around noon on a Saturday, April 27, 2013, at his Maanzoni home, in Machakos County. For a man who was active and in good health, his death was so perplexing. To date, many theories are still on card as to what exactly caused the death of the former Justice Minister, who was a key figure in the Opposition, CORD outfit. Family members and pathologists are currently locked in a battle over alleged interference of his body organs meant for testing.

George Thuo: The former Juja MP and Joint Chief Whip under the Grand Coalition Government in the Tenth Parliament dropped dead on the evening of November 17, 2013 at the Porkies Gardens Restaurant in Thika town. He had joined friends at the club and was enjoying his drink as he watched his favourite sport, “Formula One” car racing. The politician’s drink may have been laced with poison as it was determined that he died of acute haemorrhagic gastroenteritis caused by chemical poisoning.

Abubakar Shariff alias Makaburi: On the evening of April 2 last year, a group of men wearing white flowing robes in a white car opened fire on Makaburi and five other unidentified men in Mombasa as they waited for a bus after appearing in court. The gunmen then sped away. The prominent Muslic cleric, popularly referred to as Makaburi, is just one of the many Muslim preachers, who have been shot at and killed by unidentified assailants in the recent past.

Joseph Ngugi Nyumu: On the Wednesday morning of May 21, last year, constituents of Gatundu South woke up to the shocking news of the death of their Member of Parliament. The first term MP, described by family members and colleagues as “strong and healthy”, collapsed in the bathroom of his Runda home in Nairobi. The 43-year-old legislator was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival at the Nairobi Hospital clinic in Gigiri. Unlike other cases, though, his death has not stirred controversy.

Otieno Kajwang’: How, where and when exactly Otieno Kajwang’ breathed his last remains a mystery. What is clear, though, is that the former Homa Bay Senator Otieno Kajwang’ passed on either on the night of November 18, 2014 or in the morning of November 19. His body was thereafter transferred from Mater Hospital to the Lee Funeral Home. All manner of theories have been advanced with regard to the death of the political stalwart of the Orange party and CORD.

Fidel Odinga: Barely four days into the New Year, the son of CORD leader and former Premier, was found dead in his Karen home on Sunday morning. The 41-year old Nairobi-based businessman reportedly returned home in the middle of the night after spending the evening with friends, only to pass on a couple of hours later.

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