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Who Wanted NHIF Whistleblower Lilian Waithera Dead?

Who wanted Lilian Waithera Gathenya dead? That is the question on everyone's lips after the shocking revelation that the 46-year-old was shot and killed on Monday evening, shortly after leaving work at the NHIF offices in Upper Hill, Nairobi

Who wanted Lilian Waithera Gathenya dead? That is the question on everyone’s lips after the shocking revelation that the 46-year-old was shot and killed on Monday evening, shortly after leaving work at the NHIF offices in Upper Hill, Nairobi

The death of Mary Lilian Waithera Gathenya, a long-serving employee at the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), has raised more questions than answers.

Waithera, who worked in the NHIF registry department for over 15 years, died on Monday evening under mysterious circumstances.

The police initially classified her death as a “sudden death,” probably due to a heart attack, before a post-mortem revealed that she had been shot.

According to witnesses, Waithera was walking with her colleague, Ms Damaris Achieng, when she complained of chest pains.

She asked Ms Achieng to call for an ambulance, but moments later, she collapsed on the pavement outside an Optica outlet on Kaunda Street, bleeding from the nose and mouth.

The ambulance arrived at 5:58 pm, but it was too late, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

The post-mortem revealed that the cause of death was a shooting, with a bullet lodged in her lungs.

The development shifted the focus of the investigation back to the scene, and police stated that the bullet that hit Waithera was fired by someone on top of one of the buildings near the scene.

There are two high-rise buildings at the scene.

Hamilton House, which houses two restaurants, Almandi Yemeni House and Dream Bean House, and several offices.

Adjacent to it to the left is Eco Bank Towers.

The trajectory of the bullet, as captured in the autopsy report, can point to the building from which the shot was fired.

On Thursday, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) detectives sealed off a section of Kaunda Street to triangulate probable sniper locations.

The police have also been liaising with building owners to retrieve CCTV footage and, hopefully, shed more light on the incident.

Despite these efforts, no arrests have been made, and the police are pursuing two theories; a possible murder or an accidental discharge of a gun.

Unravelling the identity of the shooter is key to resolving the killing and determining the motive behind it.

The victim’s husband, Mr Paul Mbogo, told the media that his wife had not expressed any fears or threats to her life.

She had worked at the NHIF for 15 years and was described by her colleagues as the go-to person for government agency operations.

The incident sparked public outrage, with many calling for the arrest and prosecution of those responsible for Waithera’s death.

Furthermore, there are allegations circulating on social media that Waithera was a whistleblower and that her death had something to do with a Sh1 billion corruption case at the agency.

But NHIF issued a statement on Wednesday, urging the public to stop speculating on the circumstances surrounding Waithera’s death and to allow the relevant investigative authorities to handle the matter conclusively.

Although the claims of corruption are yet to be verified, they have led to more questions about Waithera’s death.

Waithera’s body is lying at Kenyatta University Funeral Home ahead of the burial that is set to take place in Embu County on Thursday next week.

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