18 April 2013

Kenya: Muhuru Wants Star Writer's Death Probed

A human rights lobby group has written to police requesting a thorough investigation into the sudden death of former Star reporter Benard Wesonga.

Muslims for Human Rights is unconvinced by the autopsy report that indicated that Wesonga died from an undiscovered heart condition that he lived with for 27 years.

Muhuri rapid response officer Francis Auma, who attended Wesonga's burial at his home in Lubanga village in Mumias, Kakamega county, said there is more to the death than meets the eye.

Wesonga was found dead in his house at Kachonjo estate in Tudor, Mombasa, on Easter Sunday.

A post-mortem conducted by government pathologist Ng'ali Mbuuko at the Coast General Hospital indicated that Wesonga had a hole in the heart.

However, Auma disputed the report saying Muhuri is convinced there was foul play in his death.

In a letter addressed to Coast CID boss Ambrose Munyasia, Muhuri executive director Hussein Khalid said Wesonga was working on a sensitive story related to fertiliser at the time of his death.

"Sir, we are disturbed by this death as the late Wesonga was a young and physically fit person to suffer a fatal heart condition," said Khalid.

Khalid said there have been threats to journalists that ended in physical assault of the journalists at the Coast in the recent past.Khalid cited Star photojournalist Jacob Elkana, who was hit by a stone on the head when he was taking photos of police exhuming the body of a family member of a tycoon in Mombasa whose death is still shrouded in mystery.

He also pointed that NTV cameraman Karim Rajan was recently assaulted as he covered Tana Delta clashes."We are writing to call for an official police inquest into the mysterious death of journalist Benard Wesonga who used to work with the Star," said Khalid.

The Star could not reach Munyasia for comment as calls to his phone could not go through.

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