Nairobi — The Kenyan government will launch an official search for the body of Mau Mau freedom fighter Dedan Kimathi who was executed by the colonial powers and buried at the Kamiti Maximum prison in 1957.
The assurance was given Saturday by President William Ruto during the burial of the independence hero’s widow, Mukami, who died last week aged 101.
During the funeral of Mukami, the president assured that the government will launch an official search of her husband’s remains which are believed to have been buried at the Kamiti Maximum prison by colonial masters who executed him in 1957.
“I have listened to the pleas from the family and I am giving an assurance today that the government will launch this search because Kimathi deserves a dignified burial having fought for the independence of this country,” the president said.
This fulfils the wish of the late Mukami, who had wished to have her husband exhumed for a decent burial.
Kimathi was captured in 1956 and executed in 1957 by the British government which colonised Kenya.
His body is believed to have been buried at the Kamiti Maximum prison where he was detained.
“Kimathi fought for the independence of this country yet he was buried with chains in his hands,” Ruto said, “we will look for his body and ensure he is buried as a hero.”
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, in his speech at the funeral of Mukami, said several Mau Mau elders knows where Kimathi was buried and are willing to help in the search.
Similar calls had been made by Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria among other Central Kenya leaders.
Mukami’s burial provided an opportunity for Ruto and Raila to meet and share a podium for the first time since the August 9, 2022 elections.
The funeral in Njabini was also attended by dozens of top Kenya Kwanza leaders who took on the Opposition leader-telling him to accept defeat and stop demonstrations.
“Odinga is someone I know very well and that is why I was able to defeat him despite the support he had from my predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta and the system,” Ruto said, speaking after Odinga had addressed the mourners in which he gave his brief history with the president.
“Just like Odinga has said, he has told us the need to speak the truth and be told as much, that is why I also want to tell him to always speak the truth and accept the truth. The elections ended and the winner was declared,” he told him on the face.
Odinga had earlier addressed mourners, in which his address focussed on the need for the truth, asking the Executive to be ready and willing to be told the truth.
“We must speak truth to power don’t be threatened or intimidated. What are you threatened over? We as Azimio are not mad we can sit down and reach an agreement,” said Odinga, “I have worked with Ruto for a long time and when he speaks I just look. I know that he will calm down.”
The Azimio leader equally said the bi-partisan talks, formed by the two opposing sides must succeed in earnest to resolve the issues on the table to avoid further oppressing Kenyans through taxes.
“We have had his (president) people and my people sit down and talk and if they reach an agreement that’s fine. The cost of living has increased and we are telling you not to increase the taxes. Don’t increase more taxes, the donkey is tired. I will tell you the truth,” Odinga noted.
President Ruto in a quick rejoinder at the funeral accepted the fact that the cost of living is high, but reminded the former Prime Minister that it is not as high as it was during the former regime of Uhuru Kenyatta.
“When you look at the price of Unga today, it has come down to Sh170 from Sh230 in the former regime of the handshake,” Ruto said.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua who also spoke at the funeral welcomed Odinga to the club of “truthful men.”
“The former prime minister has said we must tell each other the truth, I also want to tell him the truth because the election is over and he lost and we won,” he said, “that is the truth that he must accept so as to stop mobilising unnecessary demonstrations that hurt the economy.”
That was the same message to Odinga from Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi and Water Cabinet Secretary Alice Wahome.