“The Star” Journalist Who was Investigating Fertilizer Scandal Found Dead in His House

Wasonga: Found dead in his house in Mombasa.

Wasonga: Found dead in his house in Mombasa.

Nairobi, April 1, 2013–A correspondent for The Star daily newspaper was found dead Sunday morning in his house in the coastal city of Mombasa, local journalists told CPJ. A housemate found reporter Bernard Wesonga with blood on his nose and mouth at around 11:30 a.m., Star Deputy Editor Charles Kerich said.

Local journalists said Wesonga, 27, was with friends at a local pub in Mombasa Saturday night, leaving around 10 p.m. Wesonga had told friends he recently received anonymous threats via text message in connection with a story that described allegations of unlawful shipment and sale of fertilizer that had exceeded its expiration date, journalists said.

Authorities have not established a cause of death. Aggrey Adoli, the head of provincial police, told reporters that a coroner’s report would be released Wednesday.

“We offer our deep condolences to Bernard Wesonga’s family and colleagues, and urge the authorities to investigate his death thoroughly,” CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes said.

Wesonga’s immediate supervisor, Chief Correspondent Maureen Mudi, described the victim as a hard-working reporter who had “a lot of potential and never disappointed” in his coverage. She said Wesonga had worked for the paper for a year and had undertaken several investigative stories, including a piece about illegal importation of cars.

Kenyan reporters regularly face threats and attacks, according to CPJ research, although homicides are rare. CPJ has documented one case of a Kenyan journalist killed in retaliation for his work. Francis Nyaruri, a reporter for the Weekly Citizen, was brutally murdered in western Kenya in January 2009 while investigating suspected corruption in a police construction project. The investigation has not yielded arrests.



  • ndya muthyuty

    Its not a wonder hence Gema criminal govt of mafia rigged Hague wanted muderers ,Rapists and arsonists Many murders and dissapearings will be the order of the day! Uhuruto will be worst than Arpatheid was in the Republic of South Africa or chile under General Pinochet >Bensouda last week opposed a request by Uhuru, his deputy William Ruto and Radio Journalist arap Sang to follow the trial proceedings via video link.

    She stated the Rome Statute required the accused to be present in the courtroom for their trial. The judges are yet to rule on the matter

  • Oppen Society Democracy

    A journalist killed (murdered) inside his house. a young man of 27 years being murdered by mafia hiding and protected by a nigger corrupt govt, Kenya is a very dangerous country that must be devided now according to tribes .every tribe must take up governing their constituencies . every governor must act like a govt and start seeking help from EU/USA etc without obeying Central corrupt govt run by Uhuru kenyatta and Ruto!
    Down with Kenya central govt meant to suffocate marginalized tribes of Kenya!
    In todays constitution which Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta never supported there is no place foe PCs / Dcs/Dosetc .We only have Governors no more no less. Governors must fly flags. have police, & army to protect their Newly Nations. Uhuruto/Kibaki must be resisted no matter-what!

  • Wesonga’s death has left many voiceless,famers spnding alot on expared fertilizers tha dont yield any thing,delivery of fertilzer takes long and comes late when farmers toiled to plant.Kindly let the gevernment investigate please:)

  • Kibaki body-guard.

    Reardon Tuti wacha ujinga which govt? do you still dream of having a govt in Lala-nyani Kenyagovt?There is no govt to appeal to! Show me that govt?when will you losat guys dream of having a responsible govt?Ati govt should investigate? How can a thief arrest a thief? stop yaping !think think big-Ape!

  • 02 Jan/12
    Kenya: Mega fertilizer scandal reported in Kercho County where unscrupulous trader is minting million by way of cheating farmers

    Reports Kipsiele Arap Sugurut

    The season of planting in Kericho County has arrived and farmers were expecting subsidised fertilizers to have arrived by now for use this planting season. Farmers have been trooping to Divisional and District offices for fertilizer coupons, which are easy to get, but when they go to National Cereals and Produce Boards stores in Kericho Town, they do not find anything.

    On enquiry, the farmers are told that the fertilizers get depleted the same day they are delivered. The most shocking thing is that there is no farmer seen carrying even a single bag of fertilizer. This writer decided to try his luck recently and armed himself with a four bag fertilizer coupon from his local Agricultural Office. On reaching NCPB stores, he was told the fertilizers were depleted by one of the clerks, but fresh consignments were about to be delivered. The writer decided to pitch tent outside the NCPB premises to await the consignments. After a short while a 40 tone lorry belonging to a local transporter arrived and left immediately with the same consignment after the normal paper work had been done.

    On inquiry, this writer was told everything had been sold and should come another day. Disappointed, this writer decided to follow the lorry and was surprised to find that the G0K subsidized fertilizers was being offloaded in a private store within the town. This writer later learn that the same fertilizers were being repackaged in commercial 50 kg bags to be sold to local farmers at a slightly lower market rates. One curious farmer decided to buy one bag of repackaged fertilizers and found that it was underweight by about 2 kg.

    The farmers of Kericho were expecting fertilizers in December for early planting, but it seems some local cartels are out to frustrate the GOK’s effort in providing this vital input. The local cartels, who are supporters of former Minister for Agriculture, are out to frustrate the current Minister in her effort to secure food security in the Country. No wonder the former Minister is a frequent visitor to this County and mainly have te-te-te meetings with these cartels in undisclosed locations in the town.

    The farmers of Kericho County wanted subsidized fertilizers yesterday and the G0K should move with speed to reign in these cartels if we are to avoid further embarrassing situations in this Country of plenty.


  • anti- Desperados.

    Kenya govt is killing Reporters just like it killed all the ICC court Witness the great question to be asked by the International Community ,is whether the ICC in Hague ,is going to be Chickened (THREATENED) by Two Nigroes From the Sub-Saharan Kenya a country that cannot stand on her feet and Must be fed by food donated by the World Community?

    Democratic and Civilized Countries should not Succumb (Surrender to Niggers who has rigged elections to save their chacoal dark Primimitive skin who has started setting conditions to the ICC in Hague Why is the West being chickened by UHURU/RUTO as if Democracy is dead in EU/USA and in other international community :UHURUTO MUST Attend physically.

  • Kinyang'anyiro .Pigadomotu

    02 Jan/12

    If this story is true then Kericho people should take laws in their hands and go to these private Stores and do whatever they please tear down the Godowndo as Samson deed to Philistine wheat fields or pick your bags and go !
    Kenya: Mega fertilizer scandal reported in Kercho County where unscrupulous trader is minting million by way of cheating farmers

    Reports Kipsiele Arap Sugurut

    The season of planting in Kericho County has arrived and farmers were expecting subsidised fertilizers to have arrived by now for use this planting season. Farmers have been troop
    ing to Divisional and District offices for fertilizer coupons, which are easy to get, but when they go to National Cereals and Produce Boards stores in Kericho Town, they do not find anything.

  • Thieving politicians

    MPs, Senators sign up for Sh10.6m medical cover


    Posted Wednesday, April 3 2013 at 15:28

    The 418 Members of the 11th Parliament have started registering for the Sh10.6 million each annual medical cover.

    The medical cover announced by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) a month ago covers the 349 members of the National Assembly and 67 Senators, their spouses and up to four children who are below twenty five years and dependent on their parents.

    Each of the MPs and Senators will be entitled to an inpatient cover of Sh10 million, an outpatient cover of Sh300,000, maternity cover of Sh150, 000, dental cover of Sh75, 000 and optical cover of Sh75, 000.

    On Wednesday, MPs and Senators started filling the forms for the cover which will be provided by AON Hewitt (formerly AON Minet) which won the tender to provide the services.

    Senior Deputy Clerk Michael Sialai said in an internal memo to MPs dated yesterday that they should produce passport size photographs for each member of the family, copies of birth certificates for children and copies of marriage certificates or sworn affidavits for spouses.

  • ICC supporter

    IS kenya going Yugoslavian way (Balkans) Sudan and Baltic countries?Watch the Video>

  • Fertilizer scandal

    Parliament seeks audit in fertiliser factory scandal

    Posted Thursday, December 27 2012

    A parliamentary committee has recommended a forensic audit into a fertiliser factory scandal in which the government lost millions of shillings.

    The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) also wants the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to take the lead role in prosecuting all civil cases arising from the matter to ensure that the cases are expeditiously concluded and lost public funds recovered.

    Taxpayers continue to shoulder the burden of servicing a debt meant to put up a fertiliser factory near Changamwe, Mombasa that never was. The government entered into an agreement with a collapsed American firm, N-Ren, to guarantee the construction of a fertiliser plant back in 1970 at a cost of Sh350 million at an interest of 8.5 per cent. The debt has since risen to Sh5.1 billion.

    The government and N-Ren Ltd entered a joint venture to form a company registered as Ken-Ren Chemical and Fertilizers Company Limited which was to manufacture fertiliser for domestic consumption and export markets.

    Ken-Ren on advice of N-Ren entered into several financing and equipment procurement contracts with various Austrian and Belgium banks and suppliers, with Kenya as the guarantor. The total guarantee provided to Ken-Ren, by the Kenyan government, was $42,796 million (about Sh350 million). The suppliers of equipment and machinery were Coppee-Lavalin of Belgium, and Voest Alpine of Austria.

    The fertiliser factory project, however failed to take off and Ken-Ren was subsequently placed under receivership in September 1978, with the Registrar-General appointed the official receiver and provisional liquidator.

    “However, and although no work appears to have been done on the proposed plant, various pieces of equipment worth Sh237 million were said to have been delivered at the port of Mombasa by the Austrian firm, Voest Alpine, while others valued at Sh100 million had been ordered and paid for but not shipped,” PAC said in a report.

    The document stated: “No evidence has however been seen to confirm details of the equipment or indicate when such equipment was delivered, warehoused and eventually disposed of”.

  • Is this punishment from god for electing criminals as president and deputy president?http://www.nation.co.ke/News/-/1056/1738260/-/wpgt4rz/-/index.html

  • William Kilwa

    Be watchful drug-warlords in Kenya>You will be arrested one by one and appear in USA courts very soon This guy was a Navy commander and now he is in a 4×6 cell Somewhere in the USA>http://www.mwakilishi.com/content/articles/2013/04/06/african-drug-boss-held-in-us.html

  • Kenyan journalists threatened

    Two investigative journalists threatened in Kenya

    Nairobi, April 19, 2013–Two investigative journalists have reported receiving death threats in Kenya shortly after airing a story suggesting foul play in a government official’s death, according to news reports and local journalists.

    Mohammed Ali and John-Allan Namu, investigative journalists from the private KTN television network received threats from anonymous callers and via social networking sites on Wednesday, according to Namu and Willis Angira, associate producer for KTN. “We received threats two days ago, and it was made clear that we were being watched, and there was a plan to eliminate Mohammed and myself,” Namu told CPJ.

    David Ohito, news editor of The Standard, which is also affiliated with KTN, told CPJ that the threats were linked to an investigative story aired on KTN two weeks ago, called “Inside Story: Death in Ten Minutes” that suggested foul play in a helicopter crash that killed former Interior Minister George Saitoti.

    On June 10, 2012, a police helicopter crashed in the southern town of Ngong, which was carrying Saitoti and his deputy, Orwa Ojode, along with two pilots and two bodyguards. According to the KTN story, the commission set up to investigate the crash failed to pursue leads that emerged during the investigation, among them that Saitoti and Ojode may have been poisoned to death.

    The Standard said its journalists believe the threats originated from Kenya’s internal security department. Ohito told CPJ that The Standard had contacted authorities to express their concern about the threats and saying that they planned to provide the journalists with extra security if more threats occurred.

    CPJ’s calls to and messages left with police were not immediately answered.

    Police were also implicated in the January 2009 murder of Weekly Citizen journalist Francis Nyaruri, shortly after he investigated corruption within the police department.

    “We hold Kenyan authorities responsible for the safety and well-being of Mohammed Ali and John-Allan Namu,” said CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes. “These threats are clearly motivated by the journalists’ report, which raised the possibility of official involvement in the crash.”

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