Reticent opposition backer Jimmy Wanjigi claims an advert published on the Wednesday edition of the Daily Nation newspaper, which alluded to his ‘death’, was a subtle message by his enemies which forebodes his ‘yet-to-happen, but assured’ death.
Speaking to CNN on Wednesday, February 7, Mr Wanjigi said he was left with no doubt about the meaning of the message.
“It’s a death promise,” he told CNN. “We are coming for you, we assure you we are going to finish you.”
Mr Wanjigi says he is considering legal action against the newspaper.
“I see the Nation Media as being part of a conspiracy of premeditated murder. I don’t see which other way to see it,” Wanjigi was quoted as saying.
The obituary published on page 49 of the Nation newspaper read: “It is with deep sorrow that we announce the death of James Richard Wanjagi.” The notice was accompanied by a picture of businessman Jimmy Wanjigi.
According to the obituary, Mr Wanjigi died in a botched armed robbery at Nairobi’s high-end Karen Estate.
The obituary conclusion read: “fare thee well James,” after giving his wife’s and children’s names and funeral information.
Kenyans on social media reacted with concern on the platform to what they saw as a thinly veiled threat.
“This is not an ‘editorial/publication error,’ this is a death threat really,” wrote one Twitter user, Eddie.
The Daily Nation has since apologised to Mr Wanjigi, saying it has invited detectives to investigate circumstances which led to the ad being ‘planted’ on their Wednesday edition newspaper.
“We refer to the publication of a death and funeral announcement of James Richard Wanjagi bearing the picture of Mr. Jimi Wanjigi that was erroneously published in the Daily Nation of February 7, 2018. We regret the pain and anguish this may have caused Mr. Wanjigi and his family and sincerely apologise for this,” read the Nation’s apology.
“The Nation Media Group has invited the police to investigate how a death notice was placed in the Daily Nation bearing a picture of NASA supporter and businessman Jimi Wanjigi,” read another update about the controversy on Nation website on Wednesday.