, MBOONI, Kenya, May 9 – He may not have gone to war for his country in the literal sense but to the residents of Makueni county he was a hero.
They came in their thousands to honour a man who some epitomised in pins that read, “Mourning our hero: Senator Makueni County Mutula Kilonzo.”
Sixteen year old Wambua Mutiso may not have known him personally but she felt it necessary to see one of her icons laid to rest. “He inspired me. Our governor (Kivutha Kibwana) talked about his going to high school without shoes and now the Head of State is here to mourn his passing.”
Even Mutula Kilonzo Jr could not help but acknowledge the high regard in which his father eventually came to be held in spite of his humble beginnings. “My father did not like security escorts and the trappings of power but I don’t think he would mind too much this dignified send off.”
“My father said in a previous interview,” Jr continued, “I had a purpose to live, and not just to live but to succeed. May the Lord rest our hero, our mentor in eternal peace.”
When Kilonzo’s grandson Mumo Mutula gave a tribute to his grandfather it became apparent that the third generation of his family was also impacted by his life story: “My grandfather is not gone. He will always live in our hearts, our bodies and our minds.”
Given the courage the young Mumo displayed in front of thousands of mourners, President Uhuru Kenyatta expressed confidence that Kilonzo left a lasting legacy. “From what we have seen from his children to his grandchildren there is no doubt in my mind that Mutula’s spirit lives on and that definitely the name of Mutula Kilonzo will live long after he is gone.”
Immediate former Head of State Mwai Kibaki challenged the Kilonzo family to carry on his mantle as the residents of Makueni County were left with the promise of good roads in honour of their departed Senator.