Journalist Gatonye Gathura's body lay in the mortuary for a month, unidentified.
Journalist Gatonye Gathura's body lay in the mortuary for a month, unidentified.

Mystery surrounds the death of veteran journalist Gatonye Gathura whose decomposing body was found lying in Naivasha sub-county hospital mortuary.

The body of the health and science journalist had incidentally been lying in the morgue for a month before the relatives were informed by police of his death on Thursday morning.

It’s emerging that the deceased was murdered through strangulation before the body was dumped along the Naivasha-Mai Mahiu road in October.

For months the road has been turned into a dumping ground for bodies killed elsewhere with majority of the victims murdered through strangulation.

Naivasha OCPD Samuel Waweru confirmed the incident, adding that the body was found by members of the public dumped near Kihoto estate on the 26th of October.

According to the police boss, the body had a wire around the neck confirming that he was murdered elsewhere before it was dumped off the busy road.

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

He added that the body did not have any identification documents adding that they picked his fingerprints which were positively identified by the registrar of persons.

A kin who declined to be named said that the journalist in his mid-60s had been living alone after separating with the family a couple of years back.

The relative said that they were not aware that he was missing until the phone call by police confirmed their worst fears.

“He was a quiet man and he lived alone after separating with his wife and we only came to know of his death after police confirmed his identity through the fingerprints,” he said.

A seasoned journalist Kioki Kivandi who is also a trainer of journalists in Egerton University termed the death as a big blow to the media fraternity.

He expressed his concern that 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 that the killers of Gatonye who once trained me on health journalism will be arrested,” he said.

Before his death, Gatonye was a contributor for the Standard newspaper and ran a website 'Rocket science’ that concentrated on reproductive health and mental health.

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