Kenya Forum readers will know that following the publication of an article in the Nairobi Law Monthly supposedly by John Ward, the father of Julie Ward who was murdered in the Maasai Mara in 1988, we cast doubts as it to its authenticity. (See ‘John Ward, the Murder of Julie Ward, Jonathan Moi and the Nairobi Law Monthly’, 7 March, and ‘Jonathan Moi, Julie Ward and the ‘Article’ by ‘John Ward’: Fake, Hoax or Just Bad Journalism? 8 March).
The 20-page article’s headline directly accused Jonathan Moi, son of former President Daniel arap Moi, of Julie Ward’s murder (although the text of the article was less forthright on the matter).
The Kenya Forum questioned whether the article really was by John Ward. One reason we gave was that the source of the allegation against Jonathan Moi were based on the testimony of one Valentinus Ujure Kodipo, a witness that John Ward had in the past totally dismissed. We also pointed out that Kodipo had ended up in a lunatic asylum in Denmark.
Kodipo is ‘mentally unbalanced’: John Ward
Well now comes further proof that it would be unlikely for John Ward to have given his name to an article containing such a serious accusation based on the testimony of Kodipo.
In the press archives we have found a news report from the Daily Nation published in September 1991. In the piece headlined ‘Ward now dismisses Kodipo’, John Ward dismissed Kodipo as a credible witness. Mr Ward was quoted as saying: “We have proved that he [Kodipo] is not genuine. I believe he is mentally unbalanced. He suffers from fantasies and hallucinations.”
Later in the report John Ward was quoted as ascribing Kodipo’s motives to “political mischief” and a desire for a better life in Denmark.