Mukami Kimathi to be accorded State burial, DP Gachagua announces

Mukami Kimathi

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and a host of other leaders mainly from the Mount Kenya region during the memorial service of freedom heroine Field Marshal Mukami Kimathi, at her rural home in Njabini, Nyandarua County on May 7, 2023.

Photo credit: Eric Matara I Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Until her death last Thursday, Ms Mukami was determined to find the body of her late husband to give him a decent burial.
  • She wanted the Kenyan government to help her find her husband’s remains from the former colonial administration.
  • Her husband was captured by colonialists in 1956 at Kahigaini the Aberdare ranges and executed in 1957 at Kamiti Maximum Prison.

President William Ruto will lead Kenyans from all walks of life, in paying their last respects to the late Mukami Kimathi; the widow of freedom fighter Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Sunday revealed that the late Mukami will be accorded a State burial on Saturday, May 13, at her Njabini home in Nyandarua County.

He spoke when he led a host of Mt Kenya politicians for a mini-memorial service at the family home in Njabini,in Kinangop, Nyandarua County.

"In consultation with the family and the President, we have agreed that the funeral service will be held on Saturday, May 13,  at her home in Njabini, Nyandarua County, and will be presided over by President Ruto," Mr Gachagua said.

“We want to accord our mother a respectful final send-off, which will be carefully planned by the government, “stated Mr Gachagua.

Former Presidents Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki were among national leaders given State funerals.

Mukami Kimathi

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and a host of other leaders mainly from the Mt Kenya region during the memorial Mukami Kimathi.

Photo credit: Eric Matara I Nation Media Group

Former Vice-President Kijana Wamalwa, Nobel Peace laureate Wangari Maathai, former Nyeri Governor Wahome Gakuru and former First Lady Lucy Kibaki were given State funerals minus the military element.

Mzee Moi’s funeral and that of Mwai Kibaki had full military honours. This means Ms Mukami will also be given a State funeral, but without military honors.

According to Wikipedia, a State funeral is a public ceremony observing strict rules of protocol held to honour heads of State or other people of national significance.

State funerals usually include pomp and ceremony as well as religious overtones and distinctive elements of military tradition.

The government has already set up a national funeral committee to plan Mukami's burial, which will be chaired by the Principal Secretary for Internal Security and National Administration Dr Raymond Omollo.

The national funeral committee will be chaired by PS Omollo while Nyandarua Governor Moses Badilisha will chair the committee at the county level.

"The government has also agreed to the request by the family of the late heroine, that all surviving and other freedom fighters will be accorded special recognition during the service," added Mr Gachagua.

Mt Kenya leaders who accompanied Mr Gachagua had earlier asked the government to accord the late Mukami a State burial.

Nyandarua Governor Dr Kiarie Badilisha said Ms Kimathi deserves a State burial for her role in fighting for Kenyan independence and the rights of Mau Mau fighters and Kenyans in general.

“Ms Mukami was our mother in Mt Kenya and in the entire country. She played a very important role in the fight for this country’s freedom. We want her to be accorded a State funeral. I also want to assure the family, that the county and national government, and all Kenyans will stand with them at this hour of pain,” Mr Badilisha said.

Leaders who accompanied Mr Gachagua are Senator John Methu, National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichungwa, Former Governor Francis Kimemia, Embu Woman Rep Pamela Njoki and a host of other politicians.

On Sunday, Azimio La Umoja One Kenya leader Raila Odinga who spoke at the Lee Funeral Home, while paying homage to the late Mukami, said she  should be honoured as a freedom heroine with a State funeral.

According to Mr Odinga, the funeral service in honour of Mama Mukami should be held at Uhuru Gardens, in Nairobi.

“I would wish the State funeral service in honour of the late Mukami be held at Uhuru Gardens where Mau Mau freedom fighters were being tortured," he said.

Mr Odinga also confirmed that he will attend the funeral service.

“I cannot miss the funeral of Shujaa Mama Mukami wa Kimathi. We have been very close and I will be in Njabini for her final ceremony on earth,” added the opposition leader.

Mau Mau veteran Mzee Githu Kahengeri also said Mukami should be honoured as a freedom heroine.

“She fought for the freedom of our country. We pray that the remains of her husband be brought so that both can be buried on the same day in Njabini in Kinangop,” Mr Kahengeri said.