Did Prof Mugenda jump to his death?

Former VC Olive Mugenda and her husband Prof Abel Mugenda [Photo: Courtesy]

Something strange happened on January 5 at dawn. A man fell from the sixth floor of White Rhino hotel in Nyeri Town to his death.

Just as swiftly as his body cut through the still morning air, it was removed and the blood stain cleaned from the concrete. Little was revealed about the incident.

Prof Abel Gitau Mugenda, as his identity was later revealed, father of four and husband to former Kenyatta University vice chancellor and Commissioner of Judicial Service Commission Prof Olive Mugenda, was said to have died from a ‘short illness.’

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He was a professor of statistics and research at USIU, and a renowned scholar, researcher, author and quantity surveyor. Police sources and staff at the hospital who are familiar with the incident told The Nairobian that the professor had checked into the hotel on January 2 and was staying alone.

On the morning of his demise, surveillance camera footage captures the professor leaving his room on the fourth floor and going up the stairs before leaping to his death. Surveillance footage captured him leaving the hotel sometimes on Friday before returning to his room on the fourth floor.

 Police officers said the don had injuries on his body, but said investigations were ongoing, though they suspected suicide. The officers did not wish to be named.

 At the time of his death, Prof Mugenda was a lecturer at United States International University.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Chief Justice David Maraga issued a statement on Saturday, honouring the legacy of Mugenda. In his message, President Kenyatta described the late Professor Mugenda as a distinguished scholar and researcher.