A Nakuru based medic James Muriithi Gakara, who is suspected to have murdered his two children aged 3 and 5 by allegedly injecting them with insulin, before attempting to take his own life.
Gakara died on September 22, while undergoing treatment at the Nakuru Level 5 Hospital.
Police, who were alerted, arrived at the scene and broke down Gakara’s door. It was then that they discovered the two children had died, and Gakara was still alive, though in critical condition. The incident occurred at the couple’s Milimani Apartments home in Nakuru Town West.
It is suspected Gakara attempted suicide by injecting himself with the same poisonous substance. This was, however, yet to be established as samples taken from his body for toxicology tests were yet to be analysed.
“The scene indicates some drugs were used on the children and on himself. A postmortem [examination] shall be conducted to establish what type of drug it was,” Police said on Sunday, September 19.
Used syringes, empty drug bottles were found in dead children’s bedroom
Bodies of Gakara’s two children, a girl (5) and a boy (3), were taken to the Nakuru Level 5 Hospital morgue.
Winnie scribbled an emotional message to the minors aged three and five years. “My heart is shattered; I failed to protect you my loves;’ she wrote. The distraught mother fingered her now demised husband, lamenting that he betrayed her trust and hurt her only offspring. “The person you trusted the most betrayed you my darlings, I promise to fight for justice for you; Go well my sweethearts.”
In a new twist, relatives of Winnie Odhiambo-Gakara (wife of the late Gakara) have denied reports claiming that the mother of two wanted to fly abroad and leave her young family behind.
Roseline Odhiambo, the sister of Winnie Odhiambo-Gakara, whose two children were allegedly killed by their father on September 18 denied the claim.
“The brother I know couldn’t have killed his children” Roseline says
Roseline says she doesn’t understand what might have led to the alleged murder/suicide, as Gakara and Winnie had no wrangles that risked jeopardising their relationship.
“We want to clarify something. It is all over the media that Winnie wanted to go abroad, [and leave her young family behind]. That is not true,” Roseline told the media at the Nakuru Level 5 Hospital on Wednesday.
“Winnie doesn’t even have a passport. She registered as a student at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) just the other day with the help of her husband. She was to attend weekend classes.”
Roseline says Winnie had gone to attend her classes at the Juja-based university on Saturday when the unfortunate incident occurred.
“There is also this notion that Winnie and her spouse had differences. I did not know of any differences that they had. Winnie was praying that her husband could recover so that he explains what happened,” said Roseline.
Roseline’s statement that Gakara helped his wife secure placement at JKUAT was corroborated by the spokesperson of Gakara’s family, Burton Njoroge.
“He (Gakara) loved his wife and children very much. He had always wanted his wife to further her education. He, consequently, encouraged her to enrol for a degree course at JKUAT,” Njoroge told the media at the Nakuru Level 5 Hospital on Wednesday.
The deceased’s sister-in-law, Roseline, says on the fateful day, Gakara, who was in Nakuru, and Winnie, who was in Juja, engaged in long WhatsApp conversations in the morning, and that “nothing raised eyebrows”.
“They were a normal couple,” she said.
According to Roseline, Gakara, a gynaecologist at the Nakuru Level 5 Hospital, and Winnie, a clinical officer at Langalanga Dispensary in the county, operated a private clinic often run by Winnie.
“They were so close. We really don’t understand what happened, and she (Winnie) too doesn’t understand.”
Roseline says Gakara and Winnie “were a couple that everyone admired” and “were very happy”.
“People are saying so many things that are devastating. That very morning, they were chatting on WhatsApp. They had planned a trip to Thika on Sunday. His last message to my sister was: ‘Don’t come over [to Nakuru]. The children and I will pick you in Juja on our way to Mary’s place’.”
Roseline says she was “close” to Gakara, whom she describes as “a very humble person”.
“He was just a good man, who loved my sister and the children. I was close to him, and he did not tell me that there was something wrong with his marriage.”
Gakara’s family spokesperson Buron Njoroge told the Media that low blood sugar level might have led to the father of two’s death.
“His samples were taken for toxicology tests. We are still waiting for the results, but doctors at the Nakuru Level 5 Hospital told us that Gakara’s blood sugar level had reduced significantly,” he said.
“He was a jovial man, who loved to engage in conversations touching on development.”
According to Njoroge, Gakara “loved his wife and children very much”.
After Winnie enrolled for her studies at JKUAT, Gakara committed to looking after the children when Winnie was away in school, especially during the weekends, said Njoroge.
According to the spokesperson, On Saturday Gakara behaved “strangely” by asking his house-help to go out and look for food in the shamba, yet he had said he’d be leaving in a few minutes’ time to take the children out.
After the house-help stepped out, his phone became unreachable, prompting his wife to ask one of their employees at the clinic to go check on Gakara and the kids.
The employee, upon reaching home and peeping through the window, discovered that Gakara and his two children lay on the floor unconscious.
Meanwhile, a source pleading unanimity revealed, “The first wife deserted him and the second wife was planning to relocate to the US next month (October),” the source stated, adding that the medic and the first wife failed to sire kids.
Neighbors speculate that Odhiambo had travelled to Nairobi to finalize her plans to travel to the USA for further studies when the incident occurred. She had left the two babies in the hands of her doctor husband and their nanny. Dr. Gakara was reported to have taken the house help and the babies out on Saturday afternoon, September 18, but returned with the babies only. The nanny was alleged to have been sent on a short leave. However, Gakara’s family has been adamant that the allegations against the doctor were malicious. Their assertions were buoyed by the fact that an autopsy report conducted to ascertain the death of the two minors was declared inconclusive.
“The tragedy has been too much to bear for the family because my brother is such a humble person who rarely gets into conflicts with people. We are very shocked at what happened, we feel like it is a bad nightmare and we want the dream to end,” Mary Gakara, the doctor’s sister, told media