NAIROBI, Kenya, July 9 – The government has formed a funeral committee to work with the family of Interior Cabinet Secretary the late Joseph Nkaissery in making arrangements for his burial.
The committee will be chaired by Health Cabinet Secretary Dr Cleopa Mailu will, according to a statement released by Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua.
“The terms of reference of the Committee will be to provide all possible assistance to the family of our departed colleague and to ensure that the Late Cabinet Secretary receives an honourable and dignified sendoff befitting his status as a gallant and true patriot,” Kinyua who is also the State House Chief of Staff said.
The family of the departed CS has also appointed Saitoti Ole Maika as the family spokesperson.
Maika will work with both the State House and government spokespersons in relaying information to the public as burial arrangements take shape.
Kinyua has pledged regular updates from Monday as the nation awaits an official report as to what could have caused the death of Nkaissery when he collapsed in his Karen house.
“More details will be given out in due course as of circumstances of this unfortunate and untimely death but even as we wait for the results of a postmortem so that we can properly understand the cause of death I ask Kenyans to be calm and united,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said Saturday in his address to the nation following the CS’s death.
He has appointed Education CS Fred Matiang’i to replace Nkaissery at the Interior Ministry in an acting capacity.
Nkaissery was pronounced dead on arrival at the Karen Hospital on Saturday morning, having collapsed at his home after complaining of sharp chest pains.
Detectives spent the better part of Saturday collecting samples and other forms of evidence from places the Interior Cabinet Secretary visited during his last moments alive—including the Bomas of Kenya, where he is said to have had a glass of wine, and his home. They also questioned several people at the Bomas of Kenya, including waiters who attended to him and security guards.
Information pieced together by detectives relying on Nkaissery’s aides, friends and family members show that Nkaissery left his office at Harambee House at 6.30 pm and headed to the Bomas of Kenya, where he frequents mostly to watch news while meeting his friends, before he headed home, having taken a glass of wine.
While at home, he is said to have held a brief meeting with his security team about the following day’s itinerary, before he did some exercises and later had dinner with his wife. He collapsed while walking to the bedroom and was rushed to hospital shortly before midnight while unconscious and he never woke up.
“The investigation is progressing on well but there is no clue yet,” one senior government official told us on Sunday morning, quoting the probe team, “at this moment, an autopsy is key and tests on the samples we collected from various areas.”
An initial government statement issued by Kinyua had indicated that the CS died in hospital where he had gone for a medical checkup.
This assertion was refuted by the Chairman of the Karen Hospital Board Dr James Mugeria who said the CS was dead by the time he was taken to the facility.
“He was already dead, but you see doctors cannot assume and that is why they tried to resuscitate him but it was too late since he was already gone,” Dr Mugeria told Capital FM News, saying he is the one who called top government officials—including Kinyua, the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet and CID Director Ndegwa Muhoro to the hospital and handed over the body to them and Nkaissery’s family members.
Government Spokesman Erick Kiraithe later issued a statement saying the earlier one by Kinyua was issued in error.
There was no official confirmation on when the postmortem will be conducted.