Kenya: Ruto, Gachagua Arrive for Mukami’s Funeral
Nairobi — President William Ruto has arrived at the home of Field Marshall Dedan Kimathi for the burial of his widow Mukami.
Ruto is accompanied by his Deputy Rigathi Gachagua.
Other leaders at the burial include Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi among other top government officials.
Opposition Chief Raila Odinga is also expected, the first time the two leaders will share a podium since the August 2022 elections.
Mukami died last Thurday at the Nairobi Hospital aged 101.
In his condolences, President Ruto said Mama Mukami was part of the history of Kenya’s freedom.
“Mama Mukami Kimathi courageously withstood the brutality of colonial oppression, proudly wore the scars of battle, and bore the terrible losses of war with admirable fortitude.”
The President praised her resilience even after her husband was executed by the colonial administration.
“After winning the war for independence, Mama Mukami was left behind to fend for her children in the absence of Field Marshall Kimathi. In her characteristic way, she also won this battle.”
The President said Mukami’s contribution did not end at Independence.
“Mukami Kimathi was a steadfast patriot and well-known champion for national unity who inspired many Kenyans of all ages to cherish our country and stand ready to defend our values, ” he said in his tribute.
“On behalf of my family and the people of Kenya, I convey my condolences to the family of our departed heroine, Mukami Kimathi. May God rest her soul in everlasting peace.”
Until her death, Mukami has been advocating for the exhumation of the remains of her husband from Kamiti Maximum Prison to be buried at his home.
Dedan headed the feared Mau Mau rebellion and was executed half a century ago by the colonial authorities, prompting her later to appeal to the Kenyan government to exhume his body so he could be given a state funeral.
But successive governments tried and failed to locate his remains.
Official government records show that Kimathi was captured by the colonial administration in 1956 at Kahigaini in the Aberdare ranges and executed in 1957 in Kamiti Prison.
“I do not want to die before being shown the exact place where my husband was buried. I want to see the remains of my Kimathi before I go. I do not have long to live and this matter has been a thorn in my flesh,” Mukami said in a recent media interview.