US Embassy staff in Nairobi left the country after fatal accident

THE US embassy has denied helping one of its officers who is implicated in a fatal road accident in which a 35-year old man was killed to leave the country.

US embassy spokesman Michael Greenwald said Joshua Walde, an information management officer who was under investigation following the July 11 accident, left the country three days later allegedly for medical treatment on his arm.

Walde was driving on the wrong side of Ngecha road when he collided with a matatu in which the Haji Likunda was a passenger. Nine other passengers were seriously injured and admitted to the Kenyatta National Hospital. Three of them are still in hospital after they broke their limbs.

Walde’s Ford Everest vehicle was damaged and is at Parklands Police Station.

Yesterday Greenwald said Walde did not leave the country to escape charges including causing death by dangerous driving and driving on the wrong side of the road.

He did not say when Walde, his wife Carla Cabrejo and their son will return to the country.

“We are cooperating with the Kenyan authorities,” Greenwald said.

Nairobi provincial traffic boss Patrick Lumumba yesterday said Walde’s departure had left the police with no option but to involve the Foreign Affairs ministry and diplomatic police.

Lumumba said the police have written to Attorney General Githu Muigai and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for help in having Walde brought back to the country to face the charges.

Likunda’s widow, 38-year-old Latifah Naiman Mariki sais her late husband called her at 5.30 pm and told her he was on his way home from work.

“I waited for him to arrive but he never came home. I called his phone several times but there was no answer. It was unlike him not to come home,” the mother of three who is now five months pregnant said.

She said she got worried and asked one of her husband’s colleague who lived in the neighborhood to help look for him. A search at all the police stations led them to Parklands where they were informed of the accident. They were also told that Lukinda’s body was at the City Mortuary.

Naima said her husband’s body was immediately transported to his home in Tanzania where he was buried according to Islamic religion.

“Why has nobody brought the man responsible for my husband’s death to justice? What am l supposed to do now?” she said.

Walde served as the information systems manager at the US embassy in Nairobi since July 2012. He previously served in a similar capacity at the US embassies in Croatia, Uruguay and Kazakhstan. A Colorado State University graduate, Walde was awarded a meritorious honour by the State Department which he has worked for since 2002.


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