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Day CJ Evan Gicheru went missing in Aberdare forest
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|Day CJ Evan Gicheru went missing in Aberdare forest by Kenyans247(1): Mon 28, December, 2020 09:28am|
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And after 12 hours, he was found in a thicket about three kilometres away from the hotel.
The then Central region director of police operations Ephantus Kiura said the hotel manager Richard Soames had reported that Judge Gicheru was missing.Just like many Kenyans, retired Chief Justice Evan Gicheru, who died last Friday, had big plans for New Year festivities in 2014.
He had checked into Aberdare Country Club in Nyeri County with his wife Margaret and two children when he decided take a stroll in the expansive game reserve at around 6pm on January 2, 2014.
But what was intended to be an evening walk turned out to be anxious moments for his family and the rest of the country after the former CJ failed to return to the hotel.
The resort is next to the wildlife-infested Aberdare Forest. In fact, at the entrance of the hotel is a warning that visitors wishing to visit the game sanctuary must at all times be accompanied by a guide.
After failing to join his family for dinner that evening, a frantic search party was hurriedly convened. The search team was made up of more than 200 security officers and sniffer dogs.
Found in a thicket
And after 12 hours, he was found in a thicket about three kilometres away from the hotel. He was dazed when the search team found him.
Police and the family then said the former CJ was diabetic and he fell in a thicket as he wandered in there and slept. He was evacuated and taken to a hospital in Nairobi.
The then Central region director of police operations Ephantus Kiura said the hotel manager Richard Soames had reported that Judge Gicheru was missing.
Mr Kiura said the former CJ did not have a mobile phone and added that the police had been informed that he suffered from memory lapse.
“We found Mr Gicheru lying by the side of a road and he looked tired. He could not recall what had happened,” Mr Kiura said.
Grief and tribute
Justice Gicheru was Kenya’s chief justice for eight years after appointment by former President Mwai Kibaki in 2003. He was 79 at the time of his death.
He started his career in the Judiciary in 1982 as a High Court Judge, quickly rising to the peak as Court of Appeal judge in late 80s and before leaving in 2011 as CJ.
His death on Christmas Day provoked an outpouring of grief and tribute from leaders including Mr Kibaki, President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and outgoing CJ David Maraga.
Judge Maraga said plans are already underway to accord the retired justice a State burial befitting his status as a long serving senior civil servant and a former head of an arm of the government.
“I called the head of the public service Joseph Kinyua and the two Speakers of Parliament and arrangements are being made about the funeral of Mr Gicheru as a senior civil servant. We are in constant talks with the family and the burial has been slated for Thursday, December 31, 2020,” the CJ said.
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