Cause of death of Gichugu Returning Officer Geoffrey Gitobu revealed

Geoffrey Gitobu died aged 56 on August 22, 2022. [File, Standard]

The autopsy on the body of Gichugu Returning Officer Geoffrey Gitobu, 56, has ruled out foul play in his death.

According to a report on the autopsy that was done today (August 24), the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) official died following a blood clot in the artery of his lung.

The deceased also had anaemia, a condition in which the number of red blood cells or haemoglobin concentration within them is lower than normal.

Gitobu had no visible injuries on his body, the report further said.

The autopsy was conducted at the Nanyuki Cottage Hospital morgue by pathologists Dr Simon Amok, Dr Ayub Macharia and Dr Harrison Kiambati. Family and friends were present during the exercise.

"Based on our external examination of the deceased, there were no struggle marks or injuries," the pathologists said in their statement.

Confirming the postmortem report, Laikipia County Criminal Investigations Officer (CCIO) Onesmus Towett said Gitobu died of pulmonary embolism.

"Based on the pathologists' report, we can say that Gitobu died of natural causes. However, before we make a final conclusion, we asked that samples from his body be taken to the government chemist for conclusive tests," Towett told The Standard.

Pulmonary embolism refers to a blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries in one's lungs.

In most cases, pulmonary embolism is caused by blood clots that travel to the lungs from deep veins in the legs or, rarely, from veins in other parts of the body.

Blood clots in arteries, which carry blood from the heart, can cause heart attacks and strokes, which could end in death.

About a quarter of the time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the first eventuality of pulmonary embolism is death.

Pulmonary embolism is the third-leading cause of cardiovascular death. However, people are much less aware of its symptoms.

Gitobu died on Monday, August 22.

He collapsed while going about house chores at his home in Nanyuki Town, Laikipia County.

He was taken to the Nanyuki Cottage Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Gitobu worked as the IEBC Returning Officer for Gichugu Constituency in Kirinyaga County in the August 9, 2022 General Election.

On Tuesday Nanyuki Investigating officer Onesmus Towett said that Gitobu who had taken three days off after the general elections and was on a tour of his businesses in the town before his death.

The RO owned a string of businesses including a club and rental houses in Nanyuki town where he lived with his family though originally from Meru and with other interests in Isiolo where he will be buried.

Towett said the former IEBC officer was in the company of another man who noticed that Gitobu seemed weak and the friend requested to take him to a private hospital where the officer was attended to immediately but failed to respond to treatment.

The CCIO added that he was transferred to Cottage Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The family reported the matter at 2.38 pm at the Nanyuki Police Station once they received the information.

Police said the Gitobu had visited his vast businesses at Isiolo, Meru and Nanyuki on Monday before his death.

"He drove himself to the hospital but seemed weak per the information given by the friend whom he was with," said Towett.

Kirinyaga county returning officer Jane Gitonga said the death was a shock that they are trying to come to terms with.

"We are shocked by Gitobu's death, we were to be with him in the office tomorrow but death has cut short the meeting," said workmate Edwin Njeru.

Njeru described Gitobu as a very cool guy who was always true and factual having worked with him since June this year.

A very jovial man who never picked quarrels he was said to have always guided his fellow colleagues due to his vast experience.

Gitobu was in the spotlight during the counting of the Kirinyaga governor ballots at Gichugu Constituency last week after a scuffle broke out between supporters of leading candidates Wangui Ngirici (independent) and incumbent Anne Waiguru at Kianyaga High School.

"We have lost a real colleague, he was always ready to assist us on how the IEBC should work especially during elections. He always told us not to be engaged in dubious activities or be lured to manipulate results," Njeru added.

Police in Nanyuki, Laikipia County have asked the public to avoid speculation about the death.