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Discovery of former KVDA boss's remains ends 12 year mystery

National
 DCI officers exhume the body of former KVDA Managing Director Silvanus Tubei at Kapyemit village in Keiyo. Tubei disappeared in 2012. [Peter Ochieng, Standard.

The 12-year mystery surrounding the disappearance of former Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) Managing Director Silvanus Kiprais Tubei may finally be over after police exhumed his remains from his homestead.

Two weeks before his disappearance in 2012, Tubei held a reconciliatory meeting with 10 family members. He sought to mend strained relationships following the death of his wife, Milka in 2007.

However, during the meeting, Tubei, 59 expressed concern about his estranged girlfriend, Eudiah accusing her of mismanaging his farm and livestock.

The former MD told his family that he was not on good terms with his estranged girlfriend after she allegedly took some animals and sold them claiming that they had died.

After listening to the grievances raised by Tubei, the elders promised to deliver the verdict on September 29, 2012.

But this was never to be. On September 26, 2012, the former KVDA boss was declared missing after he allegedly failed to return home from a nearby shopping centre.

After searching on his vast farm, hospitals and mortuaries, the family gave up on ever finding him.

But today the mystery of his disappearance ended after police exhumed a human skeleton buried 30 metres from his home.

The family identified the clothing as those worn by Tubei on the day of his disappearance.

DCI Homicide detectives exhumed the remains, which were wrapped in a blanket after obtaining a court order.

Keiyo South Police Commander Abdullahi Dahir, who addressed the media after the exhumation, said that fresh investigations have been launched into the matter.

He said that further investigations would help determine if the human skeleton exhumed at the compound is indeed Tubei’s.

 Police at the home of former KVDA Managing Director Silvanus Tubei at Kapyemit village in Keiyo. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Dahir revealed that if that if the remains are found to be of the former KVDA boss then further investigations will be conducted to establish the cause of death.

Following the development, the family led by Tubei’s eldest brother Alexander Tubei and his cousin Samuel Chepkwony called for the arrest of suspects, who were arraigned in court 12 years ago.

Among the suspects was Eudiah and her co-accused who was found with Tubei’s mobile phone. The case was dismissed by the courts for lack of evidence.

“We did not know much about my brother’s estranged partner. We were yet to visit her home for any marriage,” Alexander said.

He said that a section of the family claimed that the former KVDA boss had asked his girlfriend to leave.

Alexander recounted that before Eudiah's arrest, the family had converged, only to learn that she had accommodated some visitors a day before Tubei’s disappearance.

“The visitors left on Thursday, the following morning. Tubei’s phone was traced to Meru where one of the secret visitors was,” he said.

Chepkwony asked the police to conduct thorough investigations, saying that his cousin’s body would have been recovered early enough and justice served to the family if concrete evidence had been pieced together.

“For 12 years we have been seeking closure, we hope that we will not have to wait longer to get justice,” he said.

He said that Tubei was no-nonsense, hardworking and a successful farmer until the passing of his wife and mother of two children, Milka, in August 2007.

“A year later he started co-habiting with his lover, lost his job, and then he sank into alcoholism. We felt that he was depressed after losing his wife, whom he had married in 1981. But then he became distant from us,” he said.

Alexander recounted how the family with the help of neighbours launched a search party for Tubei after he was reported missing.

 Former KVDA Managing Director Silvanus Tubei. [Courtesy]

“It was a hectic search. We tried looking for him everywhere. We combed the entire neighbourhood, the rivers, hospitals, and mortuaries. News spread around, and we searched far and wide, only for us to realize more than a decade later that our kin's body was buried here all along,” he said.

At Tubei’s home, stands an abandoned mansion which he built in the 1980s. The servant quarters as well as the huge stores and cowshed are also desolate.

The family said that Tubei’s children, Kipkios and Chelagat moved to Canada after their mother’s death.

Kibet Keitany, a Pathologist from Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), Eldoret, said that the exhumed skeleton remains of an adult human had a skull broken in pieces.

“Samples will be taken for identification at the government chemist in Nairobi and to aid any other investigations. Meanwhile, the remains have been taken to MTRH mortuary for preservation,” he said.

Tubei graduated from the University of Nairobi with a degree in Agriculture before joining a University in Norway for Masters and was employed as a tutorial fellow at the University of Nairobi.

From there he joined UNESCO and was taken to Marsabit at an Agricultural research centre where he served for two years and was then appointed the Deputy KVDA Managing Director.

After serving for about three years, he was appointed as the second KVDA Managing Director. During his tenure at the KVDA, he started a number of irrigation schemes, including Weiwei and other small-scale schemes near Lake Bogoria.

He also oversaw the construction of the KVDA plaza, the second-tallest building in Eldoret in the 1980s.

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