Bernard Gitau @benagitau
The family of veteran politician Kenneth Matiba has confirmed that he will be cremated, putting to rest speculation about his final send-off.
Matiba’s widow, Edith, told family members during a prayer service at their Riara home in Limuru, Kiambu county that the cremation is in accordance with his wishes. “It was his wish that when he dies he should be cremated,” she told the group.
The cremation, which will be done on Friday at the Lang’ata Cemetery, Nairobi, will be exclusive to family members and close friends.
The public will, however, get an opportunity to bid farewell to the former Kiharu MP and minister at two prayer services, one at Nairobi’s All Saints’ Cathedral and another Ihura Stadium, Murang’a.
The body of the return-to-multiparty-politics crusader, who died last Sunday at the age of 85, will be viewed at the two services. Among those who visited the family yesterday were First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and Chief Justice David Maraga.
The First Lady said she had gone to convey her personal and her husband, President Uhuru Kenyatta and family’s condolence to Matiba’s widow and family. “On behalf of my husband and my family, I am here to convey condolence message to Edith Matiba and the family for the loss,” she said.
Maraga described Matiba as a man of integrity. “He was a man of integrity. As a country, we owe the new Constitution to Matiba and others for their sacrifices,” he said.
Former presidential candidate Peter Kenneth eulogised Matiba as “a hero and man of the people”. He urged the government to hasten the process of paying his family compensation awarded by a court for his detention in 1990.
Edith disclosed that her husband died a few days after they celebrate their 58th marriage anniversary. She said that unlike many politicians, politics made Matiba poorer. “He did not join politics to be rich. It made him poorer, “ she said. She urged young leaders to emulate him and leave a legacy of development.