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Joseph Nkaissery died of heart attack, autopsy reveals

Monday July 10 2017

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Pathologists on Monday ruled out foul play in the death of Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery and said he died of a heart attack.

Private pathologists Bessie Byakika and Andrew Gachie, as well as Dr Johansen Oduor, the government’s chief pathologist, conducted a six-hour postmortem examination to find the cause of Maj-Gen (Rtd) Nkaissery’s death.

The autopsy, which started at 10.30am, was done in the presence of family members and four other doctors, including one from the Government Chemist.

Director of Medical Services Jackson Kioko was also present.


This came as the burial committee, led by Health CS Cleopa Mailu, held a meeting with family members at Harambee House and agreed that the late CS will be buried at his home in Ilbisil, Kajiado County, on Saturday.


Condolence books will be available at Harambee House, the KICC, Nairobi Baptist Church and all 47 county headquarters from Tuesday.

“Major-General Nkaissery died of a heart attack,” said Dr Byakika last evening following a meeting between the doctors and the family.

Dr Charles Kariuki, who was part of the team, described the cause of the death in medical jargon as “acute myocardial infarction, where the muscles of the heart die due to lack of blood as a result of a compromised or blocked blood vessel by cholesterol”.


He explained that older people were at a higher risk of heart attack due to age, lifestyle and stress.

“No foul play whatsoever at this juncture,” said Dr Byakika, adding: “Further tests will be conducted.”

Mourners at Lee Funeral Home, where the body of
Mourners at Lee Funeral Home, where the body of Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery was preserved, on July 10, 2017. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Dr Oduor also said the minister’s heart was enlarged.

Samples from the body were taken to the Government Chemist for further analysis and the family also took some for private analysis.


Family spokesman Saitoti ole Maika had earlier said the procedure was conducted in the presence of two family doctors and a family member.

Also at Lee Funeral Home were Directorate of Criminal Investigation officers, including the Nairobi County DCI boss Nicholas Kamwende and Kilimani DCIO Phyllis Kanina.

The bereaved family appealed to Kenyans to be patient until investigations were complete and made public.


The postmortem was done a day after the CS’s widow Hellen Nkaissery, who was admitted at the Nairobi Hospital since her husband’s death on Saturday morning, was discharged.

“We are also glad to announce that Mrs Nkaissery, who had been hospitalised following the death of her husband, is now out of hospital,” said Mr Maika.

Sources told the Nation that the family had postponed the autopsy to await the arrival of the CS’s sons from abroad.