Justus Murunga: The Matungu MP Who Allegedly Abandoned His Family

The late Matungu MP Justus Murunga Makokha (L) with DP Ruto in Kakamega on October 25. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

On Saturday, November 14, Matungu Member of Parliament Justus Murunga Makokha died while being rushed to the hospital.

Reports indicate that the 60-year-old Amani National Congress MP developed breathing difficulties before succumbing shortly.

Leaders who sent their condolences termed him as a “focused, hardworking and visionary leader” committed to development to his people.

In the words of DP Ruto, Murunga was a “was a focused, hardworking and visionary leader who relentlessly advocated for the empowerment of the people.”

“A development-oriented titan who was dedicated to public service, Mheshimiwa Murunga was steadfast, amiable and loving. We will miss his firmness, wise counsel and vibrancy to unite and transform Western region,” wrote Ruto on Twitter.

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Records however indicate otherwise. According to a story published by The Nairobian in March 2018, the legislator had abandoned his wife and five children long before election, as they wallowed in poverty.

The writers indicated that as of 2005, the family lived in a mabati house in Umoja Estate before they relocated to the family house in Utawala.

After relocating, it is reported that Murunga went on with his life and dinned like a king while his family struggled to survive in the city.

“He has not slept in his matrimonial home in Nairobi since becoming a mheshimiwa after the 2017 General Election, and rarely spends time with his wife of three decades and their five children,” the paper reported.

Worse still, the MP is said to have lived in Utawala but spent most of his nights in a lodging. The paper reported that his family learns more about his whereabouts from boda boda operators in Utawala.

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“His children sometimes bump into him at the shopping centre. When they go to the shops, they find his brand new Land Cruiser parked outside a bar. Naturally, a child who has not seen his father for months will walk in and say hallo. The child will be shooed away with Ksh500,” said a relative quoted by the paper.

The first born daughter never went beyond form four, while another one is reported to have had frequent fee issues.

The family used to beg for money from the MP, since he did not like being asked for money by his family. At home, he is known as Mr Money Bag by his supporters.

He hardly drunk, but spent most of his evenings in bars buying alcohol for friends.

While morning his death, former Kakamega Senator Bonny Khalwale said that the MP had earlier been discharged from Kisumu Aga Khan Hospital where he had been treated for diabetes.

Before politics, Mr Murunga worked as a real estate dealer besides selling cars from his yard in Kisumu.

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Written by Kahawa Tungu


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