Njabini — Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has renewed the controversy surrounding the vast Kenyatta family land, insisting they must surrender half of it to resettle Mau Mau freedom fighters.
Although Gachagua did not mention Jomo Kenyatta by name, it was apparent he was referring to the first family which he has previously accused of holding large parcels of land in various parts of the country, yet Mau Mau freedom heroes are languishing in poverty.
“Those saying that the government should buy land for the freedom fighters, that’s fine. But the Mau Mau land is known where it is and those with it must return even if it’s half of it. It will be enough for the Mau Mau,” he said Saturday at the burial of Mukami, the widow of Dedan Kimathi, who died aged 101.
Gachagua had in April publicly asked former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta to consider surrendering half of the family’s land to Mau Mau fighters when she hosted the late Muthoni Kimathi ate her Muthaiga home in Nairobi.
At the time, the late Muthoni said she visited Mama Ngina to pay gratitude for support to the family, including offering to clear a bank loan among other forms of assistance.
But Gachagua took a swipe at the Kenyatta family saying iy should instead surrender half their land for all Mau Mau survivors and their descendants.
He repeated these sentiments at Mukami’s burial in Njabini attended by President William Ruto and other leaders but did not mention the Kenyatta’s directly, instead saying “people know who is holding Mau Mau land.”
He also accused unnamed officials of embezzling some Sh5 billion paid by the British government to resettle the Mau Mau freedom fighters.
“The British government gave 30 million pounds for land to be bought to settle the Mau Mau and their descendants, but the black colonialists who came after the white colonialists left diverted that money, that land was taken by a few and given to home guards and collaborators,” he claimed.
Gachagua has always insisted he is a Mau Mau descendant, always refering himself as “the son of Mau Mau.”
“We feel cheated and misused, because our parents were buried with nothing, yet the collaborators and the home guards continue to enjoy everything the Mau Mau fought for. And they despise and look down upon us, yet the vast land they occupy belongs to the Mau Mau and their descendants,” Gachagua said.
During the burial of Mukami, President William Ruto assured that the governement 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.
Kimathi is 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 fulfills 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 colonized Kenya.
His body is believed to have been buried at the Kamiti Maximum Prison where he was detained.