Jimi Wanjigi sues 3 senior officials at NMG after obituary on Daily Nation

Tough legal battle

Mr. Wanjigi has taken legal action against Acting CEO Stephen Gitagama, Editor in Chief Tom Mushindi and Advertising boss Michael Ngugi.

The businessman also sued the Aga Khan-owned media house accusing it of carelessness. In court papers presented at Milimani Law Courts, Mr. Wanjigi argues that the media house ought to have verified the information before publishing.

He says that his family was greatly aggrieved by the publication of the obituary.

"The act of the respondents was partly accentuated with malice and an intention to drive sales of their flagship publication through the public reaction the said publication was going to generate," Wanjigi argued.

Mr. Wanjigi claims that the obituary was also a silent death warning which issued a promise to kill him.

He further mentioned that the local daily infringed on his right to privacy by offering for public display his personal and private details.

"In their scheme of things, the respondents intended to achieve multi-pronged benefits from the said grotesque death announcement; violate the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Petitioners; convey a chilling death warning and ultimately economically profit from the public interest the said grotesque publication was intended to generate," the court papers read.

Wanjigi is seeking unspecified amount of money as compensation and also want the media house banned from publishing matters concerning his family.

On Wednesday, February 7, 2018, Kenyans woke up to Mr. Wanjigi’s death announcement which dominated the headlines forcing the Nation Media Group to issue an apology.

The obituary was announcing the death of one James Richard Wanjagi and carried a black and white photo of Mr. Wanjigi.

Despite the ‘spelling mistake’ on Wanjigi’s name which would make some question whether it was referring to the businessman, every other detail including the names of the family members were that of Mr. Wanjigi.

According to the obituary, Mr. Wanjigi died on January 30, 2018, after a failed armed robbery in Nairobi’s Karen Estate.

The announcement also acknowledges that the purported Wanjagi was a member of Kwacha Industries – a company owned by Mr. Wanjigi – before he met his death.

According to the paper, Mr. Wanjigi was buried on Tuesday, February 6, 2017, at 3 PM.

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