Preparations for the burial of veteran politician and former cabinet minister Joe Nyagah are in high gear at his Kamutungi farm in Mbeere South Constituency, Embu County.
The family disclosed on Thursday that at least 1,000 mourners are expected to attend the burial ceremony set for Saturday.
The burial will be conducted under strict Covid-19 protocols including mandatory wearing of masks, the family said.
According to the family, the late politician had issued firm instructions on how the burial should be conducted.
The family will be keen to ensure that all the burial rites the politician had insisted on are followed to the letter.
Nyagah, the family said, will be buried with his head facing the Mbeere hills, where locals sought refuge in times of war in the past.
The former Co-operatives Minister will also be laid to rest next to his grandfather, Nthiga Mwonge, who passed away many years ago aged 85.
There will also be no viewing of the body.
Nyagah had also instructed his family not to dress his body in new clothes, but in old ones which will be ironed by his elder son, Jeremiah John Mwaniki.
“My brother had expressed his wish to be buried in that manner and we must obey the instructions he gave us prior to his death,” Nyagah’s brother Norman Nyagah told members of the press yesterday.
“Joe was categorical on where and how he should be buried. When he was alive he bought his clothes and ironed them himself. He gave us firm instructions that no one should buy him new clothes for him to wear when he dies. He believed in doing things for himself.”
Nyagah passed on last Friday, December 11, at the Nairobi Hospital aged 72 years. His family confirmed that he succumbed to Covid-19 related complications.
“The disease had extensively damaged Joe’s lungs and that is what caused his death,” Norman, who is also the family’s spokesperson, confirmed.
Nyagah, a seasoned politician, was a member of Kenya African National Union (KANU) and a minister in President Daniel Arap Moi’s government.
He quit both the government and party in the run-up to the 2002 general election.
In 2017, the deceased vied for the presidency as an independent candidate.
He was also a member of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party Pentagon in the 2007 General Election, together with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Deputy President William Ruto, Musalia Mudavadi and Najib Balala.