I saw Dr Robert Ouko’s body on fire and ran away – Herdsboy
Posted by African Press International on March 4, 2016
By Dennis Onsarigo Friday, Mar 4th 2016 at 09:03
Paul Shikuku, a herds boy tending goats at Got Alila Hills was the first person to spot the minister’s body going up in flames. He also came across two people near the murder scene that February 15, 1990.
Shikuku was therefore a star witness. Like countless others, he too disappeared from the face of the earth.
Shikuku hailed from Ekero village in Mumias, Western Kenya, where police picked and interviewed him days after Dr Ouko’s murder.
Shikuku told police investigators that he had noticed the body on fire and ran away. But when he appeared before the Ouko Commission of Inquiry, he said that one of Dr Ouko’s legs was broken, his fingers badly burnt.
After his account Shikuku was later wanted by the authorities and Cornelius Wangati recalls a white car pulling over outside his house. “They (police) were five of them, they had asked about Paul Shikuku, no one seemed to know him.
As an assistant chief of my location, I did not know him until the same police officers returned three days later with a picture of Paul Shikuku.”
Wangati says they tracked Shikuku to the border town of Busia where “the Special Branch picked him up, but he was visibly shaken. Sandwiched between two gun welding police officers , Shikuku muttered a few words of concern, he told them he had said it all, he had nothing else to say.”
Wangati recalls Shikuku being driven straight into a Kisumu hotel. He was never seen again.
The government later denied ever having picked him up despite numerous orders from the Ouko Commission to have him appear before it.
The Commission was told that Paul Shikuku could not be traced.
What did Paul Shikuku know to warrant his interrogation again, not at a police station, but in a hotel?
Besides Shikuku, other witnesses met mysterious deaths.
“There was even this nurse who says she saw the body of the Minister in mortuary in Kericho, she disappeared. Selina (Were) the Minister’s housemaid faked her death for more than a year until she eventually died in her ‘sleep'” says Caleb Atemi, a journalist who covered the murder investigations at the time.
Philip Kilonzo the Police Commissioner also died of poisoning in his own hotel.
John Troon recalled to CaseFiles how he named a witness before the Ouko Commission sitting in Kisumu.” At the Commission I named Mohammed Aslam, the chairman of Pan African Bank, that was around 2pm by 6pm he had died.
The Commission was informed that the chairman just collapsed and died.”
Aslam was 55 at the time if his death in 1991.
Virtually all the workers at Dr Ouko’s Koru home died in their sleep or after a short illness.
Former Nakuru DC Jonah Anguka recalls a poisoning incident at Kamiti Maximum Prison in Nairobi where he was served milk without him having requested for it.
“When I insisted that the person who brought me the milk takes it first before I do, he quickly walked away.”