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Wafula Buke: Don’t Be Reckless While Mourning Moi, Funerals Influence History

Former President Daniel Arap Moi [Photo/Courtesy]

When our black brother Malcolm X dismissed the assassination of US President John F Kennedy saying “it was the case of chicken coming home to roost” in other words, Kennedy was paying a debt he owed history with his life.

The statement created the environment for Brother Malcolm’s own assassination at just 39, just a boy.

Simon Nyachae too mourned JM Kariuki with caution. He had been given a speech to read for Kenyatta at the burial. He nearly became a victim of mob justice. He threw the speech away and sung the reigning tune. Perhaps he would have gone the Malcolm X way if he had proceeded, but most importantly he earned a special point on his CV as an officer who could take a stand when times demanded. I have no doubt that the respect he road on in his political life was launched by mourning cautiously.

Bishop Timothy Njoya mourned his father in a different way. He paraded the evils of the father to the embarrassment of mourners in his speech. They walked away in solidarity with his not so holy father. That caution not to veer off too far from the truth is what energizes his crusade for a new republic under a new constitution.

Our little brother and leader Malema took the Podium to mourn Winnie Mandela. We all recall his caution not to spread falsehoods in his famous “Mama, Give Us a Signal” speech. At the time, his party had 23 members of parliament. For that performance and other initiatives, his party now has 47 members of parliament.

My homelands political accident, a business partner of Nicholas Biwot, former MP and Minister Musikari Kombo made a fortune out of the funeral of Masinde Muliro. Again its caution, focus and being strategic. You would never have heard of Kombo in politics if he didn’t get a chance to mourn Muliro opportunistically.

Nyatieng James Orengo’s Shakespeare inspired speech at the funeral of Jaramogi gave him the credentials to challenge Raila Odinga for the leadership of Ford Kenya. Actually, that speech put him above Raila. The cause of history thereafter was shaped by this simple act. I urge that national recklessness be done away with as we mourn Gideon Moi’s father.

Dr Garang Demabior was buried with around 100 people who mourned recklessly.

At this early stage in the funeral, I would imagine that objective reflection on Moi will be indecent hence my proposal that we keep quiet for a while waiting for our moment. When that moment comes, I know what we shall do to get the words with which to mourn former President Moi. Check:

We shall go and stand on the graves of his victims in their homes of their families. Ideas will flow straight from their graves to our heads. Then we shall mourn.

Bishop Alexander Kipsang Muge

We shall stand on the grave of Bishop Alexander Muge. He was promised death by Moi’s men and true to their word he was crashed by metals of a Lorry at Kipkaren. While standing on that grave, we shall re-live his history and listen to him telling us how it feels to have your head crushed by metals. When he died, he left the family with a huge loan which they are still paying. Insurance companies refused to compensate the family courtesy of Moi.

We shall also travel to Kakamega in Shinyalu to stand on the grave of for student leader Solomon Muruli died in the 90s. Here we should stand longer because the story of burning to death in a university room must provoke lengthy reflection by the victim. The boy was promised death. He got it through fire. At the funeral, Martin Shikuku looked at the re-configured body and cried like a child. When he took the podium to speak, no word could come out so he stepped down. The rest of us, Ndungi Githuku, Muthoni Kamau, Tirop Kitur, myself among others vented our anger on an assistant Minister who may have come to read Moi’s speech. We held a violent dialogue with the Minister. Police bullets saved him. I suggest that we don’t visit Muruli’s Grave lest we are inspired similarly.

1982 Coup plotter Ochuka

Next grave should be Titus Adungosi. The founding Chair of SONU who came from the poorest family I had ever visited in Busia. He was jailed by Moi for 10 years at the age of 24. His crime? Rolling forward the wheel of democracy. He went on hunger strike for 7 days in Naivasha prison demanding to be taken to hospital coz of ulcers and other health issues that he got from Nyayo House torturers. When they finally agreed, they took him to Naivasha district hospital. He was guarded by “a Luhya corporal with a Luo name.”

The corporal claimed it was risky keeping Adungosi in hospital. He accused Adungosi of planning to escape. The SONU chair was returned to prison where he resumed the hunger strike. 7 days and he was ferried to Kamiti. I was in Kamiti then. 1 Day, 2 days, 3 days the fellow vomited everything he put in his stomach. On the fourth day, he was taken to Kenyatta National Hospital where he died on arrival. The state took too long to inform the family. When they got to know, Adungosi was rotten. His funeral was funded by his brother who had taken a loan to build his house. A vehicle was donated by a Kenyan of Indian descent. The only guests at the funeral were the special branch police. No politician. No speeches. Not even Jaramogi Odinga attended. Standing on that grave, we shall know what to say of Moi.

Kenneth Matiba, Charles Rubia and Raila Odinga

Kenneth Matiba would be the next destination but there is no grave since he chose to get cremated. This old man plus his colleague late Charles Rubia may be the only bourgeoisie who decided to put their resources to the service of a national cause. Only one year in prison and the guys were finished. Rubia lost his voice while Matiba got a stroke. Matiba’s 27 years with a stroke under family care put the entire family in prison for 27 years just like Mandela.  This grave/dust will give us something to say.

We won’t go to Ouko’s grave because Ouko was his son who was guilty of bad manners in the father’s house. I still remember how he used to tell the world that there were no political prisoners in Kenya when we were in prison.

We shall also visit the home of the BBI champion and chair, Senator… The Waggalla graves are still fresh in the memories of our people in Wajir. A few thousands of people are rounded up and made to lie in an open field on a hot sun till they die. Those graves will give us words for Moi’s funeral.

We should also pay late Mwanga Sayekwo and Odindo Opiata’s graves a visit. After the Nyayo House ordeal. The two comrades died twice. Their balls could not emit life-giving sperms. While on their graves, they will tell us how it feels for a police boot to comfortably rest on your testicles. They died without children.    

Gitobu Imanyara

We shall also consider visiting Solomon Gitobu in Nkubu, an Engineering Graduate of the 60s from East Germany. The guy never got a job throughout his life. I met him in his late 70s living in a shanty with semi-illiterate children. Moi made sure that East European graduates remain in the cold.

When I travelled to South Africa last year courtesy of the Boers political project, the Democratic Alliance (DA) and imagined that I was standing on the soil under which Mandela, Steve Biko, Joe Slovo, Chris Hani and others lay, I knew that I would die if I did not publicly support Malema’s EFF. See! I was sacked by friends of the Boers in ODM led by Edwin Sifuna and his partners in crime. So friends let’s not mourn now because we shall be compelled to be dishonest. Let’s wait for our moment and perform the above rituals.

I assure you what we say then will be remembered by all generations.

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Written by Wafula Buke

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