Just a day into the new year 2019, several horrified guests were witnesses to distressing scenes where an elderly man jumped and plummeted to his death from the sixth floor of Nyeri’s imposing White Rhino Hotel.
The man, a prominent member of society had strangely spent new years alone and away from family with reports suggesting police were Part of an intricate plot to cover up the incident, going as far as sealing off his hotel room and probably confiscating suicide notes which may have pointed to the cause of his grave actions.
It did not help matters that there were studious attempts to mislead the public on the cause of the apparent suicide of one of Kenya’s foremost academics and father of four who, it later emerged, was the long-suffering husband to former Kenyatta University Vice-Chancellor and Commissioner of Judicial Service Commission Professor Olive Mugenda.
Although the Mugenda family attempted to indicate that he died after a short illness, the truth, as we reported, is Prof Mugenda was suffering depression which likely led him to commit suicide.
The late Abel Mugenda was a professor of statistics and research at USIU, and a renowned scholar, researcher, author and quantity surveyor. His equally successful wife Olive Mugenda who served as Vice Chancellor of Kenyatta University before retirement and later winning a presidential appointment as a member of the JSC.
Abel’s suicide is now subject of intense speculation after family who seemed to be aided by police reported false claims suggesting he died following a short illness.
An enquiry has lifted a lid on a lopesided marriage in which the billionaire wife domineered the husband for decades.
Sad as Abel Mugenda’s suicide maybe, we learnt from extended family members that the Mugenda’s decades of marriage was a pressure cooker waiting to explode given Olive’s spectacular colourful love life and string of extramarital affairs.
To make matters worse, Abel had confided to close friends how he was subjected to cruelty, denial of conjugal rights and abuse based on trivial issues. It reached a point he could not get the meals he wanted in his family home.
The same close friends, stopping short of demanding an inquest, revealed the late Abel loved his family and was extremely protective of them and would never have wanted his children to suspect that the parents were living a dead relationship.
Situation was so bad, Abel was forced to spend the festive season at a hotel alone and away from family home because his wife had ‘other plans’ and had poisoned the minds of the children against their father.
Other information that has come across shows that the Mugenda’s were undergoing financial stress due to the wife’s insistence on managing her own money since she was much more wealthier and politically well connected than the husband. Mrs Mugenda accumulated wealth running into billions during her decade long tenure at Kenyatta University.
The late professor stood faithfully by his wife and children despite undergoing tremendous psychological torture at the hands of his fiercely independent wife Olive Mugenda especially during her tenure as Vice Chancellor of Kenyatta University. He was reduced to a very lonely observer as his wife immersed herself in what she called her career development.
As professors friends and family organise for his sombre funeral, it remains to be seen how his widow will handle the situation having misled the president and the public on the professor’s cause of death.
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