Mystery surrounding the life and times of departed Kanu-era power man Nicholas Biwott may have persisted to his last day as it emerges that he wanted to meet some top figures to relay some message about the succession of his vast estate, but death came before the meeting.
Biwott, nicknamed ‘Total Man’, had wanted to have a talk with his political mentor retired President Daniel Moi and four other prominent figures in government on the day he passed on, according to his long serving aide.
Biwott, whose remains will be buried today in his Elgeyo Marakwet home, may have had a premonition of his departure as he expressed urgency in meeting Moi.
William Chepkut said that Biwott instructed him to call the former Head of State alongside Cabinet secretaries Henry Rotich (National Treasury), Charles Keter ( Energy), former Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo and lawyer Stephen Kipkenda for an “urgent discussion” with them.
But even before he could reach the aforementioned people to pass the late Biwott’s message to them, the former minister died while being rushed to Nairobi Hospital on July 11, after battling a long illness.
“Mzee told me to call for him the retired President, two Cabinet secretaries, Henry Rotich, Charles Keter, former IG David Kimaiyo and lawyer Stephen Kipkenda so that he could have a discussion with them over some of his property and some undisclosed matters,” Chepkut, his trusted aide of over 30 years said in a television interview.
“But unfortunately, he never lived to tell them what he wanted to as he died moments before I could reach them for the appointment,” he said. Chepkut who is running for the Ainabkoi parliamentary seat as an Independent candidate after he lost the Jubilee ticket to the incumbent Samuel Chepkonga, said he had a good working relationship with his former boss.
He was speaking to the media at Toot village in Chebior sub-location, Elgeyo Marakwet county, ahead of the burial of the man who served as Keiyo South MP for 28 years.
And in another development about the politician who lived his life shrouded in secrecy, Uasin Gishu politician Margaret Kamar, for the first time, came out in public to declare she was the late Biwott’s wife.
Kamar, who is eyeing the Uasin Gishu county senator seat on Jubilee Party ticket, dispelled wide spread talk that she had been Biwott’s concubine.
On Tuesday during the memorial service at AIC Milimani, when Biwott’s cousin, only identified as Chirchir, asked members of the Biwott family to step forward for introduction, Kamar did not stand up nor was she given an opportunity to address mourners. Only Biwott’s Jewish-Dutch widow, Hannie, was introduced alongside the children and grandchildren.
Also not introduced was second wife Kavista Lessie. But yesterday, during a second funeral service in Toot village, the three, Kamar, Hannie and Kavista shook hands.
A family source said only Hannie, the first wife, could be introduced at the AIC Chruch on Tuesday, in accordance with church rules against polygamy. Kamar yesterday said she was the late minister’s third wife and that those doubting could see for themselves the unity among the widows displayed during the requiem service.
She has only one daughter with the late Biwott, Maria Soti, whom they named after his mother Maria Soti who passed away 30 years ago. “As you can see, here we are, Biwott’s wives.
I know people have been saying things about me in regards to my relationship with the deceased but they have been proven wrong,” said Kamar. She interpreted into mother tongue the speech by Hannie as she eulogised her late husband during the interdenominational prayer service at Maria Soti Girls School.
Hannie defended the late Biwott over talks linking him to scandals and murder saying he was a God-fearing person who could not harm anybody.
“My husband was very generous and a family man who cherished peace and unity and at no time has he ever been involved in the murder of anybody as being alleged by his critics in the past,” she said.
She claimed that at one time, she asked Biwott to buy a page in the daily newspapers to refute claims that he was behind the murder of some prominent figures in the country. But he, instead, answered me that he cannot lower his dignity by denying the lies perpetrated against him,” said Hannie.
Kavista introduced herself as a Nairobi-based businesswoman and described her husband as loving and caring to their three children, two girls and a boy. By last evening, security had been heightened at Toot village, where the final burial rites will be conducted today.
Security officers drawn from the Administration and Regular Police will be backed by National Youth Service personnel and hired private guards owing to the high number of mourners from within and outside the country expected to attend the burial ceremony.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto are expected to lead mourners in paying their last respect to the late minister. Biwott who was the National Vision Party leader collapsed in his house in Nairobi on June 11 and was pronounced dead on arrival at the Nairobi Hospital.