Last moments: A prayer rally and glass of wine

Parliamentary leader of majority Aden Duale (left), Kajiado County Senator Peter Mositet (centre) and former Internal security cabinet secretary Joseph Ole Lenku at Lee funeral home, where the body of former cabinet secretary for interior and internal security Joseph Nkaissery was taken after his death 8/7/17. photo by BEVERLYNE MUSILI

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery spent a precious two hours before being rushed to hospital as his family waited for help after making a call to Inspector General Joseph Boinnet.

This revelation comes as officials at Karen Hospital, which is less than 2km from his home, contradicted the government’s theory that the CS died while being treated at the institution, saying he was already dead when he was brought in. “Doctors don’t just assume that somebody is dead, they have to try and resuscitate,” said Dr James Mageria, the hospital’s spokesman.

“I have seen stories elsewhere that he died while being treated, but let me confirm to you that they are untrue,” he said, further raising the mystery on why and how the Cabinet Secretary died.

A source at the hospital said a ‘code blue’ was not raised as per the procedures of the facility whenever a patient is brought in while in critical condition.

“There was no alarm, people didn’t even know that we had an emergency until this morning,” said the source.

In medical terms, a code blue refers to an emergency situation announced in a hospital or institution in which a patient is in cardiopulmonary arrest, requiring a team of providers to rush to the specific location and begin immediate resuscitative efforts. Before going home, Sunday Standard has gathered that the CS passed by the Bomas of Kenya Lounge where he was a regular customer and held a brief meeting with some people. The identity of the people he met is still unknown, but sources say among them were his relatives. “He usually has a glass of wine or two when he comes here, meets some people then goes home,” said an employee at the Lounge. “On most days he watches the news here, but on Friday he did not.”

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It is said President Uhuru Kenyatta called the CS when he was still at the Lounge, shortly before he left for home, saying he needed to watch the news. Yesterday, the Head of State confirmed that he talked to the CS at around 9.30pm.

Many theories

“I personally have lost a friend, a colleague, whom as late as yesterday we spent part of the day praying together for peace for this country, whom as late as 9.30pm last night we were discussing issues pertaining and relating to peace, to unity in this country,” said the president.

“Indeed, on one of his last moments, we spent discussing his great passion, which was Kenya’s preparedness for the Junior Athletics (IAAF U18 Championships) that is supposed to commence in the next few days.”

At home, Nkaissery held a brief meeting with his security detail about his schedule for the following day. He was scheduled to attend a fundraising event for needy children at Ilbisil in Kajiado Central yesterday. At about 10pm, when his wife noticed he was feeling unwell, a call was made to the Inspector General seeking for help. What is not clear yet is why his family did not rush him to hospital and instead waited for help from the government for a whole two hours. He arrived at the Karen Hospital at around 12.30am, already dead.

Later in the evening, Government Spokesman Eric Kiraithe issued a statement confirming that the CS was actually pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. There are still many theories surrounding the sudden death of the CS, with initial speculations showing he died of a heart attack. Yesterday, it is said his family was demanding for a postmortem to be done immediately, but it was not established why it could not happen.

The CS, who was still very active until a few hours before he died, was said to be in good health and showed no signs of ill health. “We don’t know if he was hypertensive or diabetic because at his age, when you have those two conditions, you are likely to get a heart attack,” said Dr Mercy Korir.

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In a number of interviews with the media, the CS said he maintained a strict exercise routine and would never miss a 40 minute workout everyday no matter how tight his schedule was. It is said on Friday night he also did a short work out at his personal gym.

There are still conflicting theories on whether he had gone to bed or not before he started feeling unwell. “But in medicine, you cannot say never or unlikely because even the very physically fit can get heart attacks because their heart muscles are built up,” said Dr Korir.

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