It is now blatant that the experts examining the abrupt demise of Makueni County Senator the late Mutula Kilonzo have solved most of the secrecies surrounding his death.
The findings which are still held back awaiting full compilation of specialized tests of samples of his liver, which was found to have unusual damage. Sources say samples of body hair are also being inspected oversees for possible poison.
The bloody vomit, stomach contents and other samples tested at the Government Chemist laboratories in Nairobi all showed no sign of any poisons.
Reliable sources indicate that details of the pathology and toxicology tests say the probable cause of death appears clear.
Dr Ian Calder, a sudden death pathology specialist hired by the Kilonzo family, is supervising the tests of the liver and body hair samples. Many of the more than 100 samples collected by police, however, are unlikely to be tested at all.
Tests of food items found in the former Cabinet minister’s home also found no sign of poison. Samples were checked for radioactivity to rule out poisoning with agents like polonium-210 allegedly used in the separate killings of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko. The tests were negative. Samples of body hair are being tested to rule out poison completely.
Test show Mutula’s blood had traces of sildenafil citrate, used to treat high blood pressure or in male products like Viagra and Levitra. It is not immediately clear if this has a bearing on the cause of death.
Pathologists seeking to confirm the findings of the preliminary autopsy are ruling out on Mutula’s liver, which was described as unusually “dried out”.
They now hope to establish whether an unknown “designer poison” or ordinary medication administered over a period of time caused the damage.
“The liver looked dry as if it had been burnt,” says a source that attended the post-mortem exam on April 30. “Mutula was not a heavy alcohol drinker; if he had been, then the liver would have been swollen with fat around it. The tests in the UK will establish whether there was a designer poison or not.”
“Earlier, it was alleged that Mutula was being treated for TB by his doctor,” added lab sources. “That was the reason for the blood.” Nail scrapings showed no foreign DNA from skin or blood, which would have suggested physical contact with another person in a struggle.
More than 100 samples including his pajamas, underwear, blankets and other things were collected by the police. They took pieces of all the parts. The instructions require the complete stomach, tied at both ends, to be presented as a specimen.
Paradoxically, some sources at the Government Chemist complain pathologists took inadequate specimens during the post mortem examination. They say instructions outlined on the back of Police Form 23A which is the standard post mortem exam form, taken from Section 386 of the Criminal Procedure Code, were not followed.
Sources at the Government Chemist claim only a piece of the former minister’s stomach was given to them for testing. “The piece we tested had no poison but other pieces not tested could have had different results,” the sources revealed. No samples of the vitreous humuor (fluid in the eye) or brain matter were provided for testing.
Tests on a packet of peach juice found in Mutula’s bedroom showed no poison but the Government Chemist was unable to compare the sample with a pure one.
“We attempted to look for a similar type of juice to compare it with but there is none like that in any of the supermarkets in the country,” the sources added.
The late Mutula Kilonzo was found dead at Kwa Kyelu on the morning of April 27. Suspicions immediately surrounded his sudden demise with family, friends and associates all testifying that he was in good health. None of them spoke of treatment for TB, which is always associated with sudden death.
Many of the samples are now stored to await the release of the report and possible re-examination in the event of a dispute. Mutula’s body was embalmed before his burial so no further samples can be taken from it for investigations.
An autopsy was carried out in the presence of nine pathologists, including Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor and Dr Calder for the family.