Kenyan Rugby community is in shock following the death of Richard Sindindi Otieno, a rugby star who plays for Impala Saracens Club and Shujaa, the Kenyan national team.
“It is with the saddest regret that the Kenya Rugby fraternity and Impala Saracens Rugby family announces the sudden death of Richard Sindindi Otieno, an astute Impala Saracens Rugby Team member since 2011,” The statement signed by Impala Saracens secretary Charles Mbogo Kabaiku said. “The unfortunate incident happened this morning 25th February, 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya, while on a routine swimming exercise where he is suspected to have drowned.”
Circumstances surrounding his death are raising questions from some family members.
According to The Star, one of Kenya’s leading newspaper outlet, Rev. Jonathan Yahuma who was identified as Sidindi’s guardian and uncle said the narrative explaining the star rugby player’s death was suspicious because Sindindi, nicknamed Real Jadha Power, was a “well-trained swimmer.”
Impala Saracens RFC, the club where Sidindi played as a fullback released a statement announcing the death.
Yahuma also questioned actions taken by Impala Club. He wondered why the body was moved to the morgue in the absence of his family and a postmortem conducted without informing his wife or family according to The Standard report.
“He did not die in the water,” Yahuma is quoted as saying in the report after alleging that autopsy reports did not find physical injuries.
Sindindis’ death comes on the same week Shujaa is competiting the HSBC USA Rugby Sevens tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Funeral arrangements are ongoing. A major fundraiser to help with the funeral expenses is scheduled for March 1, 2019 at the Impala Club Rugby Pavillion according to an announcement on the clubs’s Facebook page.
Sindindi leaves behind a widow Catherine and daughter Candace.
Below is the statement from Impala Club.