At about 10.30am on Friday 16th February, Police Constable 48774 Jerphither Ndambiri attached to Kisumu Police Station found the charred remains of the dead body of Dr Robert Ouko in a thicket near to the Nyando River at the foot of Got Alila Hill approximately 2.8 kilometres from the Koru farm. The body was later formally identified by Dr Ouko’s brother Barrack Mbajah and Professor Joseph Oliech. A report of the body’s discovery was made and senior Government officials went to the scene and the Kenyan police investigation began led by the Deputy Director of C.I.D. Mr Cleophas Okoko.
Okoko and ‘senior police officers’ decided that Dr Ouko’s body should be left at the scene until a post mortem could be carried out the next day. A guard was placed on it overnight. [KPFI 4:1 page 14]
NEWS BROKEN TO MRS OUKO
Mrs Esther Molly Mbajah stated that she was attending to Mrs Ouko at the Koru home on 16 February when Cleophas Okoko requested that he speak with Mrs Ouko alone. This he did but whilst doing so the District Commissioner from Nakuru, Mr John Anguka ‘burst into the room and informed Mrs Ouko that the body of her husband had been found’. At this, Mrs Ouko ‘collapsed screaming in grief’. [Troon FR para 116].
Esther Molly Mbajah’s written evidence stated that ‘I heard Anguka and the Deputy Mr Too talking, I heard the Deputy say “How could you come and break the news just like that,” he seemed really furious’ [Esther Molly Mbajah statement]
KENYA IS TOLD
Later on February 16th, President Moi issued an additional statement through Voice of Kenya, adding Dr. Robert Ouko’s death:
“It is with profound sorrow that I have to announce the death of the Honourable Robert Ouko, minister for foreign affairs and international co-operation and Member of Parliament for Kisumu town.
On learning of the report of his disappearance on Wednesday, the government mounted an intensive search for Dr. Ouko using all means at its disposal.
Dr. Ouko’s partly burnt body was discovered today six kilometers away from his Koru home in circumstances which at the suggest foul play.
Further investigations are being conducted into the death of the Hon. Dr.Ouko but I would like to assure the public that anyone who may be associated with this horrible event will most certainly be apprehended and brought to justice.
Let me repeat my assurance to the nation that the government is committed to the protection of the lives of all citizens of this country, and no stone will be left unturned in the discharge of that duty. The government will make further information known to the public about the circumstances pertaining to the death of Hon. Dr. Robert Ouko as this information becomes available.
I wish to extend to the family and relatives of the late Dr. Robert Ouko my sincerest condolences. It is not only their loss but that of the whole nation, for the late Dr. Robert Ouko was a brilliant leader, an articulate and a courageous spokesman of this country and a loyal servant of his people. I have personally lost a loyal dedicated friend-Dr. Ouko is the best foreign minister Kenya has had. I will greatly miss him.
May the Almighty rest his soul in eternal peace.”
The front page of The Daily Nation on the next day (17th) carried Moi’s statement and a declaration from Saitoti that Ouko’s death was ‘murder’.
Next Chapter: Post Mortem Forensics and Scotland Yard