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Christabel Ouko dies without knowing husband’s killers

By Tujipange KE reporter

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Christabel Ouko the wife of the late Honorable Minister Dr. John Robert Ouko happily samples books on the shelf at the Dr. Robert Ouko Memorial Library that was officially opened 24 years after the death of the minister 08-05-2014. Photo/ Tujipange KE Archives

The widow of former Foreign Affairs Minister Robert Ouko, Christabel Ouko has died in road crash in Kisumu County.

Kisumu Traffic Police chief Andrew Naibei said the crash happened at Kipsitet area, along the Awasi-Kericho Highway.The local traffic police chief said the car she was travelling in rolled off course at the Muhoroni junction.

Christabel died while undergoing treatment at Siloam Hospital from what doctors said was internal bleeding. Coincidentally, it was the same area where her late husband, Dr Ouko, had an accident a few days before he was assassinated on February 1990.

Christabel had attended the inauguration ceremony of new Kisumu Governor Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o.

Robert Ouko’s Widow Christabel Ouko (right) shows Family Bank Founder Titus Munya a foundation stone at Robert Ouko Library in Koru, Kisumu County on October 10, 2016. Family bank visited the Library and donated sh 300 thousand for maintenance and also promised to set up wifi. Robert Ouko Library has been voted the best community library for the last three years and was recently voted the overall best Library in Kenya. Photo/Tujipange KE Archives

Christabel’s sudden death means she has died without knowing who killed her husband whose charred body was found four days after he disappeared by a herdsboy at Got Alila hills in Kisumu County on February 13, 1990. The government pathologist, Dr Jason Kaviti initially came up with a suicide theory but later changed his position and said he was murdered.

“He could not, therefore, have shot himself and thrown the firearm to the right hand,” he said. Dr Ouko’s internal body parts were also missing.

According to him, it was not possible for the minister to remove his parts then kill himself, break his leg and burn himself.

Although he said his investigations were thorough, many things were left out because they were unavailable. The time he had to analyze the circumstances around the cause of death also appears to have been inadequate.

Dr Kaviti is regarded as among key witnesses at the 11-member committee, whose work has in the recent past been hit by lack of witnesses.

The herdsboy, Martin Shikuku is alleged to have disappeared to date without trace.

The murder case remains unresolved, but she had gone on to establish key institutions among her rural community in Kisumu to commemorate her husband’s course.These include libraries as well as school dormitories named after Dr Ouko.

Christabel Ouko, 76, was the mother of seven – four girls and three boys – and had demanded justice and truth behind her husband’s death.“I am not opposed to his being TJRC chairman because he can use it to let us know who killed Dr Ouko. I have no grudge against anybody and if the killers are known, I will welcome them for tea in my house,” she told the Nation in an interview seven years ago, referring to the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission then chaired by Ouko’s former Permanent Secretary Bethuel Kiplagat.

“I have no power to judge anybody but I am still at a loss. I don’t want to apportion blame, though the sad news is that I have gone through hell.”

 

 

Tujipange African Media