Nkaissery death probe: Police targets

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery arrives at the Kabiruini Grounds in Nyeri for Madaraka Day celebrations on June 1, 2017. Police are investigating the cause of his sudden death. PHOTO | NICHOLAS KOMU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • The CS was one of the most-guarded government officer in Kenya.
  • The bar has since been sealed off with a police yellow tape, indicating it is a scene of crime.

Waiters who served Maj-Gen (Rtd) Joseph Nkaissery at the Bomas of Kenya bar are among people being interviewed in the probe into the death of the powerful internal security Cabinet secretary.

Director of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro also revealed on Sunday that police bodyguards assigned to the CS were also being questioned by detectives pursuing a line of sudden death.

“According to the Criminal Procedure Code, sudden death must be investigated, even if it was sicknesses or accident,” Mr Muhoro said.

Even though he appeared to rule out foul play in the death on Saturday night of the tough-talking CS, he said a post-mortem scheduled for Monday is key to the investigation.

“We are looking into it but the post-mortem will determine the direction of the investigations,” Mr Muhoro said.

“The law requires that sudden death must be investigated.

“Not that we suspect anything, but we have to deal with the law. Any person who had contact with him must be questioned. Naturally, that is the course of the investigation.”

The CS, along with President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto, was the most guarded government officer in Kenya.

Independent sources said Mr Nkaissery’s family had appointed a pathologist, who is expected to work with the government’s own, during the autopsy.

“We are working closely with the family because, according to the criminal procedure code, there must be an inquest. A post-mortem is key," Mr Muhoro said.

“Not that we are suspecting foul play. Even sports people have died on the pitch. Until a post-mortem is done, we don’t need speculation. The law says we must investigate.”

He went on: “Anybody who was at work, anybody who was in contact with him, must be questioned.”

Speaking at the late minister’s home in Karen, Nairobi, former military chief Jeremiah Kianga urged investigators to move quickly and let Kenyans know the cause of his death.

“They should do so quickly and make public the reason behind the death,” Gen (Rtd) Kianga said.


At a prayer service at the home, former Narok North MP Moses ole Marima said Mr Nkaissery’s widow, Hellen, had said the CS fell down in his house while trying to get out of bed.

“I talked to his wife, who said she heard him wake up at night and slump on the floor,” Mr Marima said.

Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua had on Saturday said the CS died at Karen Hospital shortly after he arrived for a check-up, but a second statement by government spokesman Eric Kiraithe said the death occurred at home.

“Details related to his sudden death are now beginning to emerge,” Mr Kiraithe said in a statement.


“It is now clear that the general collapsed while at home and was rushed to Karen Hospital and, upon further examination, was pronounced dead on arrival.

“Both the hospital and his family have clarified that he was not admitted at the facility.

“Under the strenuous circumstances, an earlier statement indicating that Nkaissery passed on while receiving treatment at The Karen Hospital was made in error.”


The chairman of the Karen Hospital Board, Dr James Mageria, said the CS was dead by the time he was received at the facility.

“He was already dead, I can confirm to you that. It was too late since he was already gone,” Dr Mageria told Nairobi News.

He added: “I am the one who called top government officers, 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.”

The bar has since been sealed off with a police yellow tape, indicating it is a crime scene.

The Nation established that the first person to arrive at the hospital was Kenya Police Deputy Inspector-General Joel Kitili, followed by Mr Boinnet.