By ZADOCK ANGIRA firstname.lastname@example.org AND BENJAMIN MUINDI email@example.com
Posted Tuesday, April 30 2013 at 23:30
Seven pathologists on Tuesday took part in the post-mortem examination of Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo, whose death has plunged the nation into mourning and speculation.
The team of doctors — one of the largest ever to investigate the cause of a person’s death in Kenya — included British pathologist Calder Ian Maddison, who was flown into the country by the family on Tuesday.
The Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board issued Dr Maddison with a special license allowing him to take part in the examination.
The lead investigator is the Government Pathologist, Dr Johansen Oduor. The examination was delayed on Monday to allow Mr Kilonzo’s relatives to appoint their own doctor.
The other doctors include Dr Luke Musau, Dr Frederick Okinyi of Thika Level 5 and Dr Dorothy Njeru.
Others were Dr Andrew Kanyi Gachie and Dr Emily Rugena.
On Tuesday evening, they addressed the media, saying they had agreed on the preliminary findings and that results of further tests would be ready in eight to 10 weeks.
Also present at the post-mortem were homicide detectives from the Criminal Investigations Department, Assistant Commissioner of Police Pius Macharia and Superintendent Japheth Maingi.
Police told the Nation that they were pursuing four possible causes of death.
“We are exploring suicide, heart attack, poison or an overdose of drugs as all these point to the condition his body was found in,” said a detective on the case, who cannot be named because officers are not allowed to comment on an ongoing investigation.
Mr Kilonzo was found dead lying on his back with some evidence of foaming at the mouth and vomiting on the bed, in the room and a sink in his bathroom.
According to Dr Oduor, poisoning may cause nausea, vomiting, pain, troubled breathing and abnormal skin colour. Poisoning can be through the skin, by breathing, by injection or through a snake bite.
A heart attack can also cause nausea, vomiting and sudden dizziness, he said, adding that foaming on the mouth is commonly associated with epilepsy, trauma and snake bite, among others.
On Tuesday, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Keriako Tobiko, constituted a legal team to guide the investigations.
By Tuesday evening, there was no word on the doctor’s findings, but detectives said they were questioning the workers who were in the compound with the senator on the day of his death.
Detectives will be testing the consistency of the statements given by the workers about what actually transpired.
Senator Johnstone Muthama of Machakos, who is chairing the burial committee, said the rising number of unresolved and sudden deaths had prompted the family to seek the opinion of an independent expert.
Meanwhile, preparations are ongoing for the burial of Mr Kilonzo at his ranch next week. The Provincial Security and Intelligence Committee said more than 600 police officers will be at the ranch.