Outpouring tributes for linguist Ken Walibora

Thursday, April 16th, 2020 00:00 |
Prof Ken Walibora Waliaula. Photo/PD/JOHN OCHIENG

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday led the country in mourning renowned author, scholar and journalist Ken Walibora, who was killed in a road accident on Friday morning on Landhies Road, Nairobi.

However, the death of Walibora, 56, came to the fore on Tuesday evening when his body was found at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) mortuary.

“Walibora was a polished broadcaster and prolific writer whose literary works will continue to inspire future generations,” said Uhuru.

Police said the accident occured at around 9.20am when he was hit by a Double M passenger service bus, whose driver attempted to escape from the scene.

The driver, George Muturi Mburu, was however chased and arrested by wananchi and taken to Kamukunji Police Station.

Mburu was yesterday re-arrested and the charges substituted with causing death by dangerous driving.

Walibora sustained serious head injuries and was rushed to KNH in an ambulance while still conscious. Hours later, he succumbed to the injuries.

Later, street urchins took his press card and car keys to the police station, but the officers at the station kept them as just ‘lost and found’ items.

Deputy President William Ruto described the deceased as a scholar with a charming personality.

“We are heartbroken by the passing away of Prof. Ken Walibora Waliaula. He was an outstanding academic, ingenious author and a prolific journalist with a charming personality and humour,” Ruto tweeted.

ODM leader Raila Odinga said the Kiswahili author “penned great literary works that will remain etched in the memories of many.”

Immediately he went missing, Walibora’s family started looking for him and reported him as missing at Muthangari Police Station.

On Tuesday evening, officers from Kamukunji Police Station went to the KNH where they confirmed that he had died.

Walibora was a household name in Kenya where he was a constant feature on the TV as a newscaster for many years as well as for his acclaimed novel Siku Njema, which was a setbook in Kenyan high schools.

His other books include Nyota ya Amerika, Kidagaa Kimemwozea, Nasikia Sauti ya Mama and Upande Mwingine.

Riara University Vice Chancellor Prof. Robert Gateru yesterday said Walibora would be remembered as a person full of life who served with humility.

“He showed great respect to all irrespective of status. He was dearly loved and greatly admired by both his students and his colleagues. His teaching and research work has been outstanding.

He has published widely while at Riara, having also spoken in countless conferences, workshops and seminars across the world,” said Prof Gateru.

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