In the wake of Wednesday, April 15, news emerged on social media that legendary Swahili author and journalist Ken Walibora is dead.
For over 12 hours, Kenyans on Social media tried to debate each to prove their point, whether Walibora is dead or not.
However, one thing was sure, no one was sure, and those who were sure had no proof. Mainstream media, which is dependable in such crises, did not confirm or refute the news, for hours. His family kept mum.
By the time he died, Walibora worked for Nation Media Group, which remained silent until around 10.30 am when they confirmed the death.
Even as his death is confirmed at the age of 55 and having written over 20 books, there are still questions that surround his death.
According to media reports, Walibora died on Friday after he was hit by a matatu along Landhies Road, Nairobi. The road is synonymous with several traffic police officers and cameras.
Being a public figure and a top journalists, it is assumed that he had his identification documents, either his National ID of accreditation card from the media council. Why didn’t police identify him immediately? Why did it take five days to identify a public figure who was hit by a matatu and taken directly to the morgue?
Was he dumped on the road without identification documents?
Whenever a person goes missing, those close to him are required to file a report with the police to help trace him. In this case, it is not yet clear whether a report was filed, either by his family or the employer.
This is the third journalist from the media house to die in a road accident, specifically a hit and run situation.
Kahawa Tungu accepts that accidents can happen to anyone, but such coincidences rarely happen.
On March 16, Christine Omulando, 46, a sub-editor at The EastAfrican, was hit by a matatu at the Khoja Mosque roundabout. It was reported that several pedestrians were hit by the matatu that veered off the road, but she is the only one who died.
Two weeks before Ms Omulando’s death, NTV video editor Raphael Nzioki died in what police said was a case of hit-and-run accident at the intersection of Kenyatta Avenue and Kimathi Street.
Whether the journalists were a target of serial murders or ‘normal’ accidents, investigative agencies should dig deeper.
Kahawa Tungu condoles with the family and friends for the loss.