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Journalists’ union demand probe on ‘Standard’ reporter’s mysterious death

Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) wants police to investigate two politicians from the Coast region in connection with the death of Joseph Masha, a journalist based in Kilifi county.

The journalist died on Saturday morning and sources said a day before he met his death, Mr Masha, a reporter at The Standard, had dinner with a Member of Parliament from Kilifi County to mend fences following frosty relations between the two.

“We are demanding a postmortem to reveal the cause of Masha’s death. We also want the MP investigated to find out if he had a hand in Masha’s death,” said KUJ Secretary-General Erick Oduor.

Family members on Saturday said the MP had complained of a story that appeared in The Standard newspaper on August 31 in which Mr Masha analysed Kilifi politics. The MP is said to have complained that story could cost him votes.

STOMACH UPSET

Mr Masha died after collapsing in his house at Cashem village in Mkoroshoni in the suburbs of Kilifi town. He had spent the better part of Friday covering President Kenyatta’s and Deputy President William Ruto’s rally in Kilifi.

Mr Masha’s first-born daughter Khadija Masha said his father arrived home and complained of a stomach upset.

“We ordered some pain killers but he said he was okay and asked for a cup of tea. He never showed any signs of serious illness,” she said.

However, she said they found him outside the toilet where he had collapsed and was unconscious on Saturday morning.

“We tried to resuscitate him but he only gestured before shutting his eyes. We rushed him to the Kilifi County Hospital where he was pronounced dead,” she said.

The family said it was planning to conduct a postmortem examination to determine his cause of death.