Ever since he was poisoned at a restaurant in Muthaiga, Nairobi, which he frequented, and on the day that the Foreign Affairs minister, Dr Robert Ouko, went missing in 1990, Prof Saitoti had become edgy.“He would only eat his food at select places. He even fired his cook after he found him at State House,” a close family friend says.
For years, Prof Saitoti had three trusted security confidantes, Inspector Tonkei, Mr Michael ole Tanchu, who was his personal assistant, and a bodyguard, Mr Samson ole Surtan, from Kilgoris, whom he fondly referred to simply as SS
On June 8, 2012, two days before he died, George Saitoti was in Mombasa where he addressed a workshop that was to reflect on Kenya’s politics and transition.
Prof Saitoti was booked in Room 213 of Mombasa Continental Resort, where the workshop was held.
Without informing anyone, he slipped out of his room and checked into another hotel. He gave the key to his bodyguard, Inspector Joshua Tonkei.
Those who knew the professor say that he became very cautious after the attempt on his life and that he refused to stay at the Nairobi Hospital, where he was admitted.
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