[dropcap]Q[/dropcap]uestions are being raised over who could have planted an obituary in today’s Daily Nation newspaper indicating businessman Jimmy Wanjigi was killed in an attempted armed robbery in Nairobi’s Karen area.
What initially appeared to have been a photo mix-up is emerging to have been an obituary deliberately placed in the newspaper at a time Wanjigi is in the eye of a storm following his alleged role in the “swearing in” of NASA leader Raila Odinga as the “People’s President”.
He is among 15 individuals associated with Raila whose passports have been suspended by Director of Immigration Services Maj Gen (Rtd) Gideon Kihalangwa. Lawyer Miguna Miguna, who presided over Raila’s “oath taking” has since been deported to Canada despite various High Court orders issued by Justice Luka Kimaru that he be released on bail after police chiefs failed to produce in court.
While the “deceased”‘s name is indicated as James Richard Wanjagi instead of Jimmy Wanjigi, all the other details uncannily point at the intention of the person or persons who placed the obituary.
His parents are rightly identified as James Maina (Maina Wanjigi) and Wambui Magari (his uncle James Magari is a former Permanent Secretary who was caught up in the Anglo Leasing web of corruption in which Wanjigi is alleged to have played a central role). The parents also reside in Karen, where the purported attempted robbery took place. In 2013, robbers raided the home and stole jewelry after torturing his father but no one died.
Wanjigi’s wife is also called Irene (Nzisa) as rightly put in the obituary. She came to the public limelight when police raided and laid siege at their Muthaiga home in October last year allegedly in search of firearms stored there.
Jimmy Wanjigi’s children also study at the Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland, as the obituary points out. But even more tellingly, whoever placed the obituary thanked the many friends in politics “who have stood with us at this trying moment.”
The obituary also mentions Kwancha Industries, Jimmy’s flagship company, which it says he called home for 25 years and whose employees “we are happy to call our family.” It insinuates whoever placed the obituary was a close relative or has close links to the family.
NMG has since indicated that it has roped in police to further investigate the circumstances surrounding the publication of the obituary and suspended those who played a part in the publication.
“Nation Media Group does not condone such publication, which clearly goes against our editorial policy,” said NMG corporate affairs manager Clifford Machoka. “We have taken immediate action against those responsible for the placement of the announcement, including reporting the matter to the police for further investigations.”
Could someone have taken advantage of the naivety of the NMG’s sales team to cause a fresh political and security storm in the country? Or is it a ploy from security agencies to divert attention from the hot issue of Miguna Miguna deportation?