An inquiry to the death of the former Nyeri Governor Wahome Gakuru has been ordered by the court to start afresh following a public inquest
Nyeri Chief Magistrate Wendy Kagendo issued the order after Amana Africa filed an application expressing interest to cross-examine State witnesses.
The organisation, in which the deceased was a member, entered into the case on Thursday when the matter, which had for one month due to absence of the presiding magistrate Maisy Chesang, came up for mention.
Chesang is police custody in connection with the death of her husband lawyer Robert Chesang’.Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Peter Mairanyi supported the idea of starting the inquest afresh.
“After we adjourned in the previous hearings, I got information on which I would like to examine the witnesses,” said Mairanyi.
Already three witnesses, led by the former governor’s personal assistant Josphat Mwangi Maina and two body guards, Corporal Peter Mwaniki Maigua and Corporal Samson Lekol have testified.
Lawyer Kaari Kimathi for the late governor’s parents and siblings also did not oppose the move.
In her orders, Kagendo also directed that the inquest be conducted for seven days. The dates were fixed as June 25, 27 and 28 and July 2, 4, 9 and 11.
The inquest is looking into the circumstances that caused the governor’s death in a road crash in November 2017.
Governor Gakuru died in the morning of November 7, 2017 in a road accident at Makenji area on the Nyeri-Nairobi Highway while on his way to Nairobi for an interview with a vernacular radio station.
In the crash Dr Gakuru’s driver, Samson Kinyanjui, lost control of the vehicle a Mercedes E250 and rammed into a guard rail which tore through the car.
The vehicle had four occupants at the time of the crash— the deceased, his personal assistant Albert Gakuru, his body guard Ahmed Abdi and the driver Samuel Kinyanjui.
Three witnesses told court in the previous hearing that ambulances and police officers failed to rescue the late governor from the wreckage of the car.
Prior to his death, the witnesses said, for the three months the governor had been in office he would regularly change drivers and would at times drive himself for fear of his personal security.
“Sometimes he would decline to be driven and he would instruct the driver on duty to sit at the back,” said the witnesses.
For the period he had changed the drivers three times from a Mr Gakinya, a senior sergeant from Kenya Police, another one whom the witnesses could not recall names and Mr Kinyanjui.
Mr Kinyanjui, who had driven the governor’s Mercedes for about three weeks, was initially driving a county government’s ambulance.
Before being seconded to the governor, Mr Kinyanjui served the county’s First Lady Catherine for three weeks.