Uhuru earns rare praise as Mt Kenya leaders extend olive branch

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta when he inspected the construction of Kariminu II dam in Gatundu North. [File, Standard]

Mt Kenya leaders yesterday heaped praise on former president Uhuru Kenyatta when he attended the burial of former Police boss King'ori Mwangi and even beseeched him to invite them for a goat eating session.

At the same time, calls for regional unity dominated speeches at Mwangi's funeral service in Ndungamano, Tetu, Nyeri County.

Uhuru was among the dignitaries who joined family and friends paying last respects to a man who was described as a dedicated officer.

Uhuru, in an impromptu appearance, condoled with the family for a short while and later excused himself, saying he was scheduled to attend another funeral - that of the wife of former Finance minister Amos Kimunya in Nyandarua. 

While seeing him off, Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga heartily shook hands with Uhuru and asked him to invite Mt Kenya leaders for a goat eating session to which the former president affirmed.

“Your Excellency, we acknowledge the good work you did for this region despite the hurdles. The roads will have a remarkable impact on the people of this region. We now want you to call us and talk to us as our leader. We know you have the means and you can afford to slaughter some goats for us as leaders from this region,” Kahiga said.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, who had not arrived at the time Uhuru left, equally told mourners he was eager to meet his former boss whom he referred to as his elder brother.

“When I was told he was here, I was very excited, but that the mass funeral in Kirinyaga took a bit longer. I wanted to come and greet him because I have not seen him for a while, and tell him it is well.  He is our son, he is our brother, and he is our leader.”

Gachagua added: “We had some little disagreements, but it is over now. And I want to assure the former president that he will get the respect that he deserves and relax. He is my former boss. I stayed with him as a friend for 17 years. We only disagreed for two years, and that’s politics.”

Kiambu senator Karungu Thang’wa urged Gachagua to unite all the regional leaders.

“You are the uniting factor, not only in Mt Kenya but the whole nation. We are told that the former president was here. My appeal to you is that as a uniting factor, call all regional leaders, call for us Uhuru Kenyatta, let us talk and foster the way forward. It is for the good of our region and the nation at large,” he said Thang’wa.

 Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria said politics is over, and there is need for leaders to work together as a team.

“When I was told that the former president was here, I tried to rush so that I could meet him. I wanted to tell him that politics is over, and now we need to walk as a team. Unfortunately, I got here when he had already left,” Kuria said.

Uhuru described King’ori as a man who had given his all to serve the nation.

“To the family, you are not the only ones who have lost a father, a brother, or an uncle, Kenya has also lost one of its great sons,” he said.


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