Six arrested in connection with Caroline Mwatha's death - DCI

A family member is overcome by grief after the body of Dandora human rights activist Caroline Mwatha was found at City Mortuary on February 12, 2019. /ENOS TECHE
A family member is overcome by grief after the body of Dandora human rights activist Caroline Mwatha was found at City Mortuary on February 12, 2019. /ENOS TECHE

Detectives have arrested six people in connection with the mysterious death of human rights activist Caroline Mwatha.

In a statement on Tuesday, Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti said the deceased died after a botched abortion at a clinic in Dandora Phase 1.

He said the six suspects participated in or facilitated the failed abortion.

"On February 6, Caroline went to a clinic known as New Njiru Community Centre within Dandora Phase 1. It is believed an abortion was procured by the owner of the clinic Betty Akinyi Nyanya alias Betty Ramoya and one "Dr" Michael Onchiri alias Dr

Mike," Kinoti said.

He went on, "Investigators believe that Caroline died in the clinic and the body was transferred to the Nairobi City Mortuary on February 7 at 4:42 am."

Kinoti said a missing person's report on Caroline was filed at Dandora police station on February 8.

Caroline Mwatha's friend weeps at City Mortuary on February 12, 2019. /ENOS TECHE

He said records at City Mortuary indicate that the body was dropped off in a vehicle, registration number KBP 677B.

Caroline's family positively identified the body on Tuesday evening after two failed searches on February 8 and 9.

Kinoti said her name was recorded as Carole Mbeki when it was dropped at the facility on February 7.

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He said

one Alexander Gitau Gikonyo from Isiolo is believed to be responsible for Caroline's five-month pregnancy.

Caroline's husband, Joshua Ochieng, works in Dubai. He flew into the country on Sunday.

Kinoti said Caroline and Gikonyo were in constant communication before the alleged abortion.

Caroline Mwatha's mother Hannah Kathathi breaks down after identifying the body of her daughter at City Mortuary 12, 2019. /ENOS TECHE

He said investigators established that Gikonyo sent Sh6,000 to Caroline to procure the abortion.

Other than Betty, Gikonyo and Onchiri, Kinoti said taxi driver Stephen Maina, Betty's son Richard Ramoya Abudo and a woman identified as Georgia Achieng Tabitha have also been arrested.

"We appeal for patience as we continue with investigations. We wish to condole with the family of the deceased and assure them that justice will be done," Kinoti said.

"Any person involved in this matter will be brought to book."

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Speaking at City Mortuary on Tuesday after identifying the body, Caroline's father Stanlaus Mbai said the body had signs of blood on the neck, abdomen and a deep cut on the thigh.

He suspected foul play.

“In early January she told us her work is sensitive and that we should not be telling people what she does,” Mbai said.

Until her death, Caroline was a founder member and case worker with the Dandora Community Social Justice Centre.

The social activism group documents and advocates for an end to extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearences.

“It looks like there were people who were threatening and following her,” Mbai said.

Caroline Mwatha's father Stanlaus Mbai at City Mortuary on February 12, 2019. /ENOS TECHE

Speaking at the same venue, Haki Africa's Executive Director Hussein Khalid said they are treating the death with "a lot of suspicion".

He called on the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to set up an independent inquiry into the death.

“There are telltale signs on the body that we are still yet to get answers conclusively to confirm what truly happened to our late comrade,” Khalid said.

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