Body of veteran journalist found in Naivasha mortuary

Body with wire around the neck had been in the morgue for a month, had been dumped along road

In Summary

• Veteran science journalist Gatonye Gathura was strangled to death, his body dumped along Naivasha-Mai Mahiu road. It was found a month ago but bore no identification. 

• The murder motive was unknown. Gathura was separated from his wife and lived alone. No one knew he was missing.

Veteran journalist Gatonye Gathura whose body was found in Naivasha Subcounty Hospital mortuary
REPORTER MURDERED: Veteran journalist Gatonye Gathura whose body was found in Naivasha Subcounty Hospital mortuary

Mystery surrounds the death of veteran science journalist Gatonye Gathura whose body, with a wire around the neck, was found in a Naivasha mortuary.

The body of Gathura had been in the Naivasha Subcounty Hospital mortuary for a month before relatives were informed by police on Thursday morning. Fingerprints were used to identify him.

Gatonye was a contributor to The Standard newspaper and ran a website called 'Rocket Science' that concentrated on reproductive health and mental health.

It has emerged that Gathura, who was in his mid-sixties, was strangled and the body dumped along the Naivasha-Mai Mahiu road in October.

The road has been turned into a dumping ground. Victims are killed elsewhere, mostly by strangulation, and their bodies dumped in the bushes along the road.

Naivasha OCPD Samuel Waweru said the body was found by members of the public near Kihoto estate on October 26.

The police boss said the body had a wire twisted around the neck.

“We collected fingerprints that have confirmed the identity of the deceased and the relatives have positively identified the body,” he said.

The body did not have any identification documents, so fingerprints were used and they were identified by the Registrar of Persons.

An investigation is underway.

A relative, who declined to be named, said the journalist had been living alone after separating from his family a couple of years ago.

The relative said the family was not aware that he was missing until the police informed them of the body.

“He was a quiet man and he lived alone after separating from his wife. We only learned of his death after police confirmed his identity through fingerprints," he said.

Seasoned journalist Kioko Kivandi, who also trains journalists at Egerton University, called the death a big blow to the media fraternity.

He expressed concern a veteran journalist could go missing for a month without his colleagues knowing.

“There is a big gap in terms of safety for journalists and we hope the killers of Gatonye, who trained me in health journalism, will be arrested,” he said.

(Edited by V. Graham)