Family, officials mourn pathologist who defied plot to cover up murders

Former Government pathologist Moses Njue. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

Former Government pathologist Moses Njue is dead.

His sister Margaret Marigu said Dr Njue woke up yesterday feeling unwell and was taken to the nearby Imara Hospital in Rwika, Embu, where he passed on.

"Sadly, we lost our brother, who had some health complications in the last few years of his life," Marigu said.

A relative said the 60-year-old was asking to be put on oxygen but died as the doctors were planning to transfer him to another facility.

The body of the former CEO of the Embu Level 5 Teaching and Referral Hospital was taken to the Kings Funeral Home in Mbeere South, which he opened last year.

Embu Health CEC Francis Ndwiga said the county had lost a great man and a reformist in the health sector.

"Dr Njue will be remembered for standing for the truth in the society, a revolutionary in the Embu Level 5 and a strong believer in serving people as a health manager, lecturer at Kemu, mentor and church elder and will be missed by many in the health fraternity as a renowned specialist," he said.

Former Health Executive Joan Mwende described Njue as an industrious professional who was instrumental in the set-up of the oncology department at the referral hospital.

"It is a big loss not only to Embu County but the country at large for losing a gifted doctor and when I worked with him, I saw his diligence and the passion he had in his work," said Dr Mwende.

She said Njue got a raw deal from the county leadership, leading to his suspension as the CEO. "He was very analytical and would warn me as his boss if we took a wrong direction that we would fail while advising on the best approach of whatever nature in line with his profession that he took seriously," she said.

Njue graduated from the University of Nairobi in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in medicine and earned a master's degree in 1995.

According to the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board roll, he was registered on October 19, 1989, as a general pathologist.

His tenure as a government pathologist ended in controversy. He was charged in court for alleged organ harvesting but was acquitted last year.

In 2015, Njue's King's Medical College in Nyeri was closed down on accusations that it was operating illegally.

The late Njue became a human rights hero in 2000 when he resisted pressure from the state to cover up the bludgeoning to death of six prisoners by warders at the King'ong'o Prison, Nyeri.

The official version was that the six had fallen to their deaths. As the Nyeri Provincial Pathologist, Njue was firm that their injuries were consistent with being beaten.

Six prison wardens were convicted of murder due to his evidence, all of which he details in his book Dare to be Different.

In 1994, Njue differed with other officials after the death of the driver of Kamlesh Pattni, the man linked to the Goldenberg scandal.

The prosecution's case was that Friedrich Kahlews had struggled, but the doctor was of a different opinion. The court dismissed his opinion and that of another pathologist as of little evidential value.