Caroline Mwatha’s post-mortem postponed


File image of slain human rights activist Caroline Mwatha. PHOTO| COURTESY
File image of slain human rights activist Caroline Mwatha. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • The family had insisted that the autopsy be conducted on Wednesday but they were informed that the government pathologist was in Naivasha, hence, the exercise would be carried out on Thursday.
  • The activists claimed that the delay had been crafted to doctor results of the autopsy.
  • According to the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti, Ms. Mwatha died following a botched abortion procedure at a clinic within Dandora.

A post-mortem on the body of slain human rights defender Caroline Mwatha failed to take place on Wednesday, following the unavailability of chief government pathologist Johansen Oduor.

The family had insisted that the autopsy be conducted on Wednesday but they were informed that the government pathologist was  in Naivasha, hence, the exercise would be carried out on Thursday.

The delay sparked protests from the family and Ms. Mwatha’s fellow human rights activists who camped outside the City Mortuary prompting police to disperse them using teargas.

The activists claimed that the delay had been crafted to doctor results of the autopsy.

The death of Ms. Mwatha, whose body was found on Tuesday at the City Mortuary a week after she went missing, elicited varied reactions with the family and sections of the public rejecting the police version that the deceased died from a botched abortion process.

Speaking to Citizen Digital, the slain activist’s husband Joshua Ochieng, who jetted back into the country on Sunday from Dubai, where he is based dismissed the police report saying it was not factual.

“Why would she wait for five months to abort a baby? I really doubt the police report. I have known my wife for over a decade now – and I think I am certain of her character; I know what she can do, and what she can’t do. Abortion is the last thing she would procure,” he said.

Caroline Mwatha’s father Stanlaus Mbai also dismissed the police report saying his daughter was not expectant as police claimed. He suspected foul play in the incident noting that Ms. Mwatha’s body had cuts on the thighs,  abdomen and neck.

“Most likely, police have fabricated the narrative. A 5-month pregnancy isn’t something you can hide. And, my daughter was very open with me. Had she been pregnant, she would have told me. Which kind of an abortion is conducted by deeply cutting the thighs, pricking the abdomen and stabbing the neck?” he said

According to the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti, Ms. Mwatha died following a botched abortion procedure at a clinic within Dandora Phase 1 in Nairobi on February 6, 2019 — the day she went missing.

In a statement on Tuesday evening, Mr. Kinoti pointed out that police investigations indicate that Ms. Mwatha died in the clinic and the body was transferred to the Nairobi City Mortuary on February 7, 2019 at 4:42a.m.

“On February 6, 2019, Caroline went to a clinic known as New Njiru Community Centre within Dandora Phase 1. It is believed an abortion procedure was procured by the owner of the clinic namely Betty Akinyi Nyanya alias Betty Ramoya and one purported ‘Dr’ Michael Onchiri Dr. Mike,” read the statement in part.

The DCI boss further stated that investigations showed that prior to her death, Ms. Mwatha was in constant communication with a man identified as Alexander Gitau, who works in Isiolo, and is said to be her boyfriend.

According to police the communication was about “an intended abortion of a five-month old pregnancy.”

Meanwhile, a Nairobi court on Wednesday allowed police to detain six people arrested in connection with Ms. Mwatha’s death for 14 days.

The six include; the clinic owner Betty Akinyi Nyanya alias Betty Ramoya, Richard Ramoya Abudo (son to Betty), Georgia Achieng Tabitha, Michael Onchiri alias Dr. Mike, Alexander Gitau Gikonya (boyfriend) and a taxi driver identified as Stephen Maina.

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