By Brian Wafula –
On Sunday 2nd of June, the people of Bungoma County were shocked to hear the news of the sudden and mysterious demise of John Gift Masinde, a budding Luhya comedian and university student. He was famous for ‘Mufaulanga murie?’ comedy, translated as ‘how do you succeed?’
He was a fourth year student at University of Eldoret (UoE) and a Teremi High School alumnus. Gift comes from Mbakalo, Tongareni constituency.
He is reported to have left Bungoma town, where he had been shooting videos with other artists, and headed to Kitale to meet his ‘sponsor’, Jim Nduruchi, who had called him. Nduruchi claims that John Gift fell sick along the way and he received a message informing him that the comedian needed urgent attention.
“I was at a church function in the evening when I received a message informing me that John Gift was unwell and needed urgent medical attention,” Nduruchi told the Wakajuanes reporter.
Jim Nduruchi is a former teacher who had been posted at Khasoko Boys High School in Bungoma, but was interdicted by TSC after it was proven that he was sexually assaulting boys at the school.
The suspect, who contested for the Bungoma gubernatorial seat in 2017 and tailed at a distant fourth position, says he headed to Kiminini Cottage Hospital where Gift had been admitted but the hospital did not find any disease.
He is reported to have paid Ksh.10, 000 and carried the patient in his car to Kory Hospital in Bungoma where he says the medical officer found malaria, extremely low sugar level and high blood pressure. At around 11 PM, the suspect says he once again took away the deceased in his car and headed to Bungoma Referral Hospital, which he found closed, and headed to LifeCare Hospital.
At LifeCare, doctors established cardiac arrest and tried to resuscitate him. It was at around 4.30 am the following say that Gift’s elder sister Judith Masinde arrived, and an agreement was reached to take the patient to the ICU. The comedian was pronounced dead on Sunday at 10.35 am.
There are also reports that Gift had already passed away by the time his body reached LifeCare Hospital, but Nduruchi comprised the doctors to put the deceased in ICU as a way of buying time and hiding the truth.
It is very suspicious why Jim Nduruchi would take a critically ill patient from Kiminini Cottage Hospital to three other hospitals using his own vehicle and without involving the family or friends of the deceased. Where were the ambulances from each of the three hospitals before he reached LifeCare Hospital? It is clear that this was a calculated move from the key suspect to hide or destroy the evidence of rape or sodomy.
The suspect has previously been accused of sodomy by male employees who worked at his NGO, Rise Up Society, which he uses to get millions of donor funds in the name of fighting jiggers. There are audio clips where Nduruchi has been heard issuing death threats to people who try to raise complains about his bad behavior.
In this case, Nduruchi went ahead to take John Gift’s phone and deleted text messages for the conversion they had before meeting. What information was he trying to hide by deleting the messages? He is likely to have acted this way to destroy forensic evidence, which is against the law. The autopsy of the deceased has also delayed for too long and it is suspected that the Nduruchi might have influenced this delay.
John Gift’s family does not understand why he was oozing a lot of blood from his anus more than 24 hours after being pronounced dead. Eye witnesses at the hospital allege that the bedsheets for the deceased at hospital were soaked in his blood without any signs of surgical operations at any of the hospitals he was taken by Nduruchi.
Jim Nduruchi has for years considered himself to be above the law and the time has come for him to face the full force of the law.
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