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No answers yet as to what killed fast-rising Bukusu comedian John Gift

By Nathan Ochunge | June 9th 2019
John Masinde alias John Gift, a Bungoma based comedian who died under mysterious circumstances. [Nathan Ochunge/Standard]

Mystery still surrounds the death of John Masinde alias John Gift, a fast rising comedian in Bungoma County after an autopsy conducted failed to reveal what exactly killed him.

John Gift was a fourth year student at the University of Eldoret (UoE) studying Physics and Chemistry who died a week ago, on the morning of June 2.

He was a fast-rising vernacular comedian who was recording his comedy shows in the Bukusu dialect.

He left his colleagues (members of Western Talents) around 4pm after Madaraka Day celebrations. He travelled to Kitale town to meet with his sponsor, Jim Nduruchi, after recording one of his shows in Bungoma town.

A few hours later, they were informed that he had been hospitalized at two different health facilities and then referred to Lifecare Hospital in Bungoma town where he died on Sunday morning while receiving treatment at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Earlier, there were claims that John Gift might have met his death after being sodomised, poisoned and then taken to the hospital as a cover up.

Annet Wafula Masinde, his eldest sister, who was present when the autopsy was conducted on June 7 at the Bungoma County Referral Hospital mortuary, said the pathologist did not immediately determine what killed him since he was still bleeding.

Kakamega County Consultant Pathologist Dr Dixon Mchana conducted the autopsy at 3pm after pathologists from Bungoma hospital declined to do a postmortem on his body over the sensitivity of the matter.

“John Gift was still bleeding all over his body. There was a lot of blood on his skull, bladder, stomach and brain. As a family we want to know why, a week later, my late brother is still bleeding in excess,” said Ms Wafula.

Ms Wafula said the pathologist ruled out that he might have been hit by a blunt object and then sodomised as earlier claimed by some of his colleagues in the comedy industry.

“We told the pathologist to check and he ruled out claims that our brother might have been sodomised,” she added.

Ms Wafula said the pathologist took specimens from his body which have been taken to government chemist for further tests.

When contacted, Dr Mchana, the pathologist declined to comment on the matter saying he is not authorized to share postmortem results with the media since the matter was under investigation.

Bungoma County Director of Criminal Investigations Joseph Nzioka, told the Standard on Phone that investigations into the death of the comedian were still ongoing.

According to Nzioka, they were not able to ascertain the cause of his death as he was still bleeding.

“We don’t know if he was hit by a blunt object or what exactly happened. We took samples that we will be taking to the government chemist on Monday for more tests to be conducted so as to ascertain a clear cause of death,” said Mr Nzioka.

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