Was it a murder? Detectives probe death of prominent businessman who fought for squatters' rights

for Tv47 Digital March 27, 2023, 05:27 AM
The late Pius Musembi and the ill-fated Isuzu D-Max pick-up which careened off the road and flipped in the 6am incident
The late Pius Musembi and the ill-fated Isuzu D-Max pick-up which careened off the road and flipped in the 6am incident. PHOTOS/FACEBOOK

In Summary

  • Pius Musembi was the chairman of Syokimau Welfare Association, which championed for squatters' rights. 
  • He died on Sunday morning along Mombasa Road. 

When he took the microphone to address the congregation at Jesus Teaching Ministry, Embakasi on Sunday March 26, Azimio leader Raila Odinga started by conveying greetings from Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka.

Tulikuwa nayeye tukija hapa,” he said. “Lakini bahati mbaya akapata msiba…Akapigiwa simu ya kwamba mtu yake mmoja amefariki huko pande ya Athi River. Ndio akakimbia akaenda huko.”

The dead?

Pius Musembi Kivindu, 60.

A prominent businessman and chairman of Syokimau Welfare Association, he died after the Isuzu D-Max double cabin pick-up he was driving careened off the road and rammed into an electric post before overturning. He was headed towards Nairobi Central Business District when the accident happened near Greenpark, Mombasa Road, at around 6am.

“As a result of the of impact the driver [deceased] sustained a deep cut on the forehead and died on the spot," a police report filed at Athi River Police Station under OB26/3/2023 read in part.

Ordinarily, it would have been passed off as just a normal road accident. But the late Musembi's profile has raised concerns that it could have been a well-calculated murder.

Musembi had etched a reputation for fighting for the rights of squatters in Athi River who are entangled in a land ownership tussle with a cement company.

“We do not want to speculate but we are curious,” said Kalonzo, describing the departed as “an honest friend who was always ready to serve the community.”

On Sunday, some top leaders from Ukambani community, and friends and relatives of the late Musembi thronged Athi River Community Shalom Hospital mortuary in shock and disbelief.

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and other leaders arrive at Athi River Community Shalom Hospital mortuary where the late Pius Musembi's body was taken. PHOTOS | FACEBOOK

“The passing of Musembi has robbed Machakos County and Kenya of a promising man who was at the frontline in fighting for the rights of the vulnerable in the society," said Machakos Governor Wavinya Ndeti at the mortuary.  My condolences to Musembi's family. His contribution to nation building will be missed by many. 

Other leaders at the morgue were ex- Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, Mavoko MP Patrick Makau and several Members of the County Assembly. 

Mavoko MP Patrick Makau (in blue), ex-Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko (to his right) and Machakos Governor Wavinya Ndeti at the mortuary. PHOTO | FACEBOOK

DCI detectives yesterday visited the site of the crash. They are investigating whether there was any foul play in Musembi's sudden passing. “I want the homicide detectives to expedite the investigations,” added Kalonzo.

The deceased’s body was later moved to the Lee Funeral Home, Nairobi, awaiting postmortem. "To his family, Mavoko constituents, my deepest sympathies and prayers are with you," said MP Makau. 

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