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Homicide unit takes over probe into Walibora death after post-mortem

NAIROBI
By Cyrus Ombati | April 20th 2020

Detectives from the homicide unit have taken over investigations into the death of renowned author and journalist Ken Walibora (above).

A postmortem examination on Prof Walibora’s body showed he had a deep cut between his thumb and index finger, which chief government pathologist Johansen Oduor said was not consistent with a road accident. His two teeth had been knocked out and he had a blood clot in his head.

“He had a cracked right side jaw, his right hand was broken and he had a clot on the right side of the head... All these are common with motor vehicle accidents,” said Dr Oduor.

An injury on his right arm is what Oduor says needs further investigation.

“He had a cut caused by a sharp object on the space between his thumb and the index finger, which is not common with motor vehicle accidents,” said Oduor.

Walibora’s body was found at Kenyatta National Hospital mortuary last Wednesday morning, five days after his death. Police want to establish events leading to his death on April 10.

The detectives have extracted CCTV footage of his movements from Lavington area to Kijabe Street at about 9.30am where he parked his car on Friday morning. He then walked from Kijabe Street towards downtown.

Family members have told police he was going to look for a lorry to help transport building materials to his rural home.

Chased by thugs

It was as he walked towards Muthurwa area that he may have met trouble. Witnesses said they saw him run across Landhies Road while being chased by a group believed to be thugs.

“He crossed the first lane running with a group of street children pursuing him. But when he crossed the second lane, he was hit by a speeding matatu. We did not know it was Walibora,” said a witness.

The gang is believed to have first robbed him. An ambulance arrived, but did not take him to the hospital.

A second ambulance from Nairobi County Government later took the journalist to Kenyatta National Hospital.

Walibora remained at the hospital’s emergency area without being attended to from about 10.30am until midnight when he died, reports indicated.

The postmortem indicated that he may have stayed for more than 12 hours at the emergency unit waiting to be treated. Medical personnel at the facility were said to fear attending to such patients in this season of the coronavirus pandemic.

But KNH spokesman Hezekiel Gikambi said they were investigating the claims and will issue a comprehensive statement later.

“We have seen the claims and a team is investigating them to know what happened and why. A report will be tabled later with recommendations,” Mr Gikambi said.

Walibora’s body was taken to the mortuary, but it was not until April 14 that a street child handed a police officer a car key and an identification card they had taken from him after the accident. This led to the rush to identify the body. The following day police and his family went to the mortuary and positively identified it.

Walibora’s car, a Mercedes Benz, was found parked in front of shops on Kijabe Street. Guards told police it had been there for almost four days and had blocked the loading zone to the shops.

Nairobi police boss Philip Ndolo said even though Walibora might have been hit by a speeding vehicle, events leading to the accident needed to be investigated. Police are yet to find his mobile phone.

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