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The Fallen: Fidel Odinga

Kenyan ex-PM Odinga’s son dead, food poison suspected

FIDEL Odinga, eldest son to Kenya former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who died in his father’s arms on Sunday morning in his Karen home, had told friends on Friday that he was recovering from food poisoning after an outing in Naivasha the previous weekend.

Fidel turned down an offer of drinks from a friend last Friday, shortly after having lunch with eight friends in Nairobi, saying he was recovering from the food poisoning.

Two of his longtime friends, former Kenya Football Federation official Tom Alila and a lawyer who sought anonymity, said Fidel had told them about his mild illness.

Fidel died in his father Raila Odinga’s arms in his residence at Bel Air Country Homes, off Miotoni Road, Karen, only hours after coming back from a night out in Westlands.

He had been driven home by a Smart Fellows taxi driver in his Range Rover Autobiography, Registration Number KCA 026V, from Sankara Hotel, Westlands, at about 4am.

The door of his house was opened by a house help and Fidel walked into his bedroom and went to bed.

Shortly thereafter, his wife, Lwam Gatachaw Bekele, who was nursing their baby, was woken up by a commotion and found Fidel in distress. He is reported to have been gasping for breath in bed.

The wife called her parents-in-law, Raila and his wife Ida, who left their Kerarapon home and drove to residence.

A doctor was called to attend to the ailing Fidel, but he died before being transferred to hospital.

Detectives began reconstructing the last moments of the former Prime Minister’s son.

Investigators led by the Director of Criminal Investigations Muhoro Ndegwa and County Criminal Investigations Officer Ireri Kamwende started by interrogating the people who were last with Fidel. They included a cousin identified only as Bill, a close confidant identified only as Gichuru and three friends who spent part of the night with Fidel in Westlands before he was driven home.

According to Kwamende, preliminary investigations have established that Fidel was at his father’s Kerarapon residence in Karen over lunchtime. He and Raila sat outside under a tree in front of the house and privately held a lengthy conversation.

Taita Taveta Senator Danson Mwazo Mwakulegwa and his wife were at the former PM’s residence on Saturday afternoon and said that Fidel looked well and engaged his father in a very long conversation but did not take lunch, despite repeated appeals by his mother Ida.

“I was at the house at about lunchtime and we even joked about him not being in Bondo for Christmas because I spent three days there but didn’t see him. We laughed it off. He looked very okay and had a lengthy conversation with his father under the tree. They did not even respond to Ida’s repeated calls to have lunch. Then he left,” the senator recalled.

Fidel left Karen for Westlands, where he joined his friends and cousin Bill. They went to Capital Club Imperial, then had lunch at Artcaffe at the Mall before going to The Oval.

It is while at The Oval that a Ugandan friend, Barnabas Tarema, called Fidel and his friends at about 6:35pm and invited them to the Sankara Hotel, where they relocated at 10pm until about 3am.

Fidel ordered Vodka.

Fidel also met former South Sudan leader John Garang’s son Mabior Garang at the same hotel.

He left and was driven home by the taxi driver.

His cousin Bill, who was with his fiancee Lucy, told the police that they joined the Ugandan along with other friends.

The CID boss keenly took notes from some of the people who were with Fidel as they waited for the Government Pathologist, Dr Johansen Oduor, who was scheduled to conduct a preliminary investigation on the body, which remained in the bedroom until 5pm.

A family pathologist joined Dr Oduor in conducting the preliminary examination.

President Uhuru Kenyatta called the CID boss, who was at the scene, to find out what was going on and was briefed before he sent a message of condolences to the family.

Friends yesterday disclosed that Fidel had just bought his wife a Range Rover and another house into which they were planning to move.

 

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About Simbarashe Nyanhanga