By Prudence Minayo
Barring those who have died from natural causes, a politician dying in office will always be the subject of innuendos in Kenya. Chances of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes being brought to justice are almost nil-if the past cases are anything to go by.
WoK takes you down history lane to bring you politicians whose deaths shook the country to its core.
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The murder of former Kabete MP George Muchai made headlines across the country for months because of the sheer brutality of killings. The legislator was assassinated alongside his driver and two bodyguards by a lone marksman. According to the Standard, the assassin was “either a skilled mercenary, hired assassin or police officer.” The publication reported that the MP was a troubled man prior to his death and was in the process of acquiring additional security detail that would have included a chase car complete with three close protection officers (CPOs).
Muchai’s enemies were seemingly drawn from the political circles, the business sphere, real estate, COTU, gangland and his own family.
Tom Mboya was a revered trade unionist, educator, politician and Pan-Africanist.He was serving as minister for Economic Planning and Development at the time of his assassination. He was shot on 5th July 1969 along government road, now Moi Avenue soon after buying lotion from Chaani’s Pharmacy. The death sent the country into mourning and hundreds gathered at the hospital following the assassination.
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The MP disappeared from his home mysteriously in 1975. His wife would later identify his body in the morgue with an unknown tag attached to it.
“He knew people were after him and once or twice his car was shot at,” said his widow.
The ambitious politician was outspoken and had dreams of becoming the president. His death remains unsolved to date.
The sudden death of Internal Security minister George Saitoti and his deputy, Orwa Ojode sent shock waves that reverberated across the country. All the occupants of the ill-fated chopper died. Majority of Kenyans were at the timeof the opinion that the deaths were well-orchestrated political assassination.
On 27th April 2013, the first senator of Makueni was found dead in his bedroom by workers. Reports indicated that he was found in bed with foam on his mouth, while vomit was found in his bathroom sink.
There rumors surrounding his death and in June 2017, the official government report cited tremendous hemorrhage into the chest and cranial cavity.
The KANU Member of Parliament was gunned down by unidentified attackers while parking his car outside a bar in Githurai in 2001. While his car was missing, his body was found with Ksh20,000 and some checks.
The first term Embakasi MP was killed on 29th January 2008. On the fateful day, he had come from a meeting at Orange house and later left for a club.
“He later left for a club on Lenana Road to meet a lady who wanted to sell him a car. At 11 pm, he dropped the lady at her house in Imara Daima estate and headed to his home alone. It was then that the killers struck at the gate before the watchman could open it for him,” said Mr. Justice Kimaru.
Three men were sentenced to death in February 2015 for his murder. The three were: James Omondi, Wycliffe Walimbwa Simiyu, and Paul Otieno.
The former Juja MP died on 17th November 2017. He collapsed at Porkies club while having drinks with friends.
Documents claimed he had been poisoned. A retired government chemist, Wandera Bideru, corroborated that he found glimmers of a lethal pesticide in samples he examined and garments worn by the deceased when he collapsed.