Bernard Wesonga

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Wesonga’s housemate
found him dead
at his house on March 31, 2013, with blood on his nose
and mouth, according to news reports and Deputy Editor Charles Kerich who
spoke to CPJ. A correspondent for the
private daily The Star, Wesonga, 27, had been with
friends at a local pub in the coastal city of Mombasa the night before and had left for home at around 10 p.m., local journalists said.

News accounts reported subsequently that an autopsy report
had revealed that Wesonga had died of an undetected hole in his heart. But the
journalist’s relatives and colleagues said they were suspicious of the
findings and demanded a probe into his death.

Wesonga had told his colleagues the night before he died
that he had received anonymous threats by phone and text message in connection
with his reports on alleged corruption, local journalists said. Wesonga had
written at least two sensitive stories in connection to which he had received
threats, his relatives and colleagues said. One story concerned allegations of
unlawful shipment and sale of fertilizer that had exceeded its expiration date,
and another was a piece on alleged illegal car imports made through Mombasa.

Wesonga’s immediate supervisor, Chief Correspondent Maureen
Mudi, said the journalist was a hard-working reporter who had “a lot of
potential and never disappointed” in his coverage. She said Wesonga had
worked for the paper for a year and had undertaken several investigative