NYERI, Kenya Jun 27 – Dr Wahome Gakuru, the third Nyeri Govenor who died in a tragic road accident was stuck in the wreckage for forty-five minutes, his driver told an inquest on Thursday.
According to Samson Kinyanjui, the arrival of response teams to the scene was delayed forcing him and onlookers to devise ways of aiding the late Gakuru out of the car wreckage.
He linked the death of Gakuru to excessive bleeding.
“The death was caused by poor response of the emergency teams. The life could have been saved. There was no effort made to rescue him. After struggling I went under the car and lifted him and he was pulled out by public,” he told the inquiry led by Chief Magistrate Wendy Kagendo.
Kinyanjui was the third person to be cross-examined following the resumption of the inquest, which had stalled after the assigned magistrate was arrested in relation to a murder case, on Wednesday.
Nyeri’s Senior Resident Magistrate, Pauline Maisy Chesang, who had previously been assigned the inquest is facing prosecution in connection with of her husband, lawyer Robert Chesang’s murder.
Josphat Mwangi, first witness to be examined by Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecution, Peter Mairanyi, told the inquest on Wednesday that the late governor had received political threats one week to his death in a tragic road accident.
Mwangi, who was a personal security officer to the late governor, said that Kinyua Kimuri – Gakuru’s political advisor – was angry after the governor failed to honor his promise of awarding Kimuri’s team county slots despite them helping him in his campaigns.
“The late Governor Gakuru had raised concern following a goat eating meeting that was held at Magutu area in Mathira constituency by one of his close allies during the campaign period,” he said.
He narrated to the court that the governor was trapped in the vehicle for about 40 minutes but failed to explain how the airbags on the governor’s side did not inflate yet those on the driver’s side inflated saving his life.
Mwangi’s testimony corroborates with a public statement by Gakuru’s successor, the current Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga who is on record saying the Mercedes Benz that Gakuru was travelling in when it crashed at Kabati in Murang’a, leading to his death, was faulty.
Kahiga made the revelations in November 2017 during memorial prayers held at the Dedan Kimathi University of Technology in Nyeri, a move that raised questions across the country with residents asking why the late governor used the car if at all it had mechanical problems.
In his testimony on Thursday Kinyanjui told the inquiry that the plans to travel using a Mitsubishi Pajero were swapped in the morning of the fateful day, noting the governors logistics team had settled to have him travel on a Mitsubishi Pajero which had been fueled for the journey.
Gakuru, an acclaimed academic, died on November 7, 2017, at Makenji area of Kabati along the Thika-Murang’a after his Mercedes Benz E250 rammed in to a guardrail when he was going for an interview at a vernacular radio station in Nairobi.