Detectives embark on CS Nkaissery’s death probe

A police officer keeps vigil at the residence of the late Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery in Karen, Nairobi, after it was cordoned off by Crime Scene Forensic officers [Photo: Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Detectives from the Scenes of Crime visited the Bomas Lounge in Nairobi, Saturday, where the late Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery visited as investigations into his death started.

Nkaissery had dinner at the joint on Friday with relatives and friends before driving to his home almost five kilometres away along Kwarara Road in Karen.

He had a busy day besides attending the Saba Saba prayers at Uhuru Park before he retired home.

Many theories were being thrown around as the possible cause of the death even as experts moved in to unravel what killed the former military general.

A team of detectives from Homicide department also visited his Karen residence and collected samples from his clothes and food.

The team grounded the car that the CS used on Friday as they combed it for samples they believe can help in unraveling the death.

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Cordoned off

They collected a number of samples from food, drinks and seats, where he stood and even the glass he used. His personal effects were also taken away.

The team cordoned off a corner where he held a meeting at the Bomas of Kenya.

The detectives also went to Karen Hospital where the CS was rushed moments before he died and interrogated a some officials before picking more samples.

The samples will be taken for analysis and tests as the probe gathers pace. A team from Nairobi Area DCI and those from headquarters is investigating the death.

Another team led by pathologists was expected to conduct postmortem on the body to establish the cause of death.

There is speculation that he may have suffered a heart attack, poisoning or embolism.

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Government officials, his family and friends said he had not complained of pain on Friday.

Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua who sent a statement at about 4am announcing the death, said the CS had not complained of any pain.

“The CS was fit before the sudden death. Doctors will tell us what happened,” said Mr Kinyua.

Another family friend said the CS planned to exercise in the house before retiring to bed.

President Kenyatta said more details on the death would be released later.

“More details will be given out in the course of the day on the circumstances of this unfortunate and untimely death. But even as we wait for results of the postmortem so that we can all properly understand the cause of death, I ask Kenyans to be calm, I ask Kenyans to be united,” he said.

Experts were summoned to trace his last movements before he died.

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The CS was pronounced dead on arrival at Karen Hospital.

Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet and Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho rushed to the hospital before a decision was made to transfer the body to the Lee Funeral Home at 4.45am.

Nkaissery’s widow Hellen was admitted to hospital after she developed high blood pressure following the shocking news.

The CS was to attend a funds drive in aid of women in Ibisili, Kajiado County.

The death of Nkaissery, in the wee hours yesterday morning has left many bewildered.

Questions linger over what killed a man that several hours before Kenyans woke up to his demise was jovial during the Prayer rally at Uhuru Park attended by the president.

The CS was instrumental in the planning for the security arrangements ahead of the General Elections.

A staff at the Bomas Lounge who sought anonymity, said Nkaissery was a frequent visitor. “He often visits here and last night we hosted him and his guests as usual,” said a restaurant attendant.

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According to a staffer at the Interior Ministry, the CS held a series of meetings in his office, before leaving in the mid morning for Kasarani to check on the preparedness of the IAAF World Under 18 event that is supposed to start on Tuesday.

In the afternoon he attended prayers at Uhuru Park and later left for his office before he went for dinner at Bomas.

An official aware of the events divulged that when efforts to resuscitate the CS failed he was rushed to Karen hospital in his official car. “He was pronounced dead on arrival,” he said.

The retired military general was a firm, fearless unrepentant and resolute leader who stood by his word and would easily wade into controversy and make his stand known.

But his critics say he was a reckless person who was ready to use his power to clamp down and roll back on the democratic space the country had gained.

But the troubling question that millions of Kenyans are asking is what killed the former MP for Kajiado Central.

As his body lay at the Lee funeral home, detectives picked from Homicide department left nothing to chance in unraveling the riddle of his sudden death.

From the grounded the car that CS used on Friday to collected samples from food, drinks and seats, and his clothes at his home and even the glass he used as all eyes are on them and pathologists to unravel the mysterious death.

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