Top pathologists testify in body parts theft case against Njue

Saturday August 03 2019

Former Chief Government Pathologist Moses Njue in the dock. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Two top pathologists Friday recounted before a Meru magistrate’s court their shock after learning that the body they were to perform an autopsy on did not have a heart.

Chief Government pathologist Dr Johansen Odour and Dr Sylvester Mainge told Meru Senior Resident Magistrate Evans Mbicha that they could therefore not establish the cause of Mzee Benedict Karau’s death because the heart was missing.


Testifying during the inquest into the death of the former assistant chief, the pathologists said they were informed that former chief government pathologist Moses Njue had carried the heart and kidneys to perform histology.

Dr Oduor said they had been asked to carry out a second postmortem on the body together with Dr Scholastica Kimani when they realised that the heart was missing.

It is then that Dr Kimani, who is attached to Meru Level Five Hospital, informed them that they had carried out an autopsy in March 2015 with Dr Njue, and he had carried the organ.


During the first autopsy, Dr Njue represented Ms Martha Gakuo the third widow of Mzee Karau who was with him when he died in March 2015.

Dr Kimani and Dr Njue had concluded in the first post-mortem in March 2015 had concluded the cause of death was because of a clot in one of his heart coronary arteries but did not specify whether it was left or right.

“The initial post-mortem had concluded that the deceased had died because of the death of heart muscle but I was unable to make that conclusion because I didn’t find one. I’m still waiting for the heart to conclude the procedure’’ said Dr Odour.

Asked by first widow Christine Karau lawyer Prof Kiama Wangai whether he saw any report indicating some samples were taken for histological analysis, Dr Odour said he never saw such a report.

The court was informed that the deceased had a visible head, face and upper arm injuries.

They said quartet performed second autopsy and reached the conclusion they could not tell what killed the septuagenarian unless the check his heart which was missing.

Dr Maingi who is attached to Nairobi county government narrated to the court how he was tasked to lead a team of police officers and undertakers exhume the body before the second postmortem.

He said they the kidneys were also missing from the decomposing cadaver.

“The first conclusion on the cause of death of the deceased is incorrect. They did not indicate whether right or left coronary artery,’’ Dr Maingi who is the eleventh prosecution witness told a packed court.

The inquest continues on November 7.