MBOONI, Kenya, May 9 – They represented counties from across the country: Bungoma, Busia and Nairobi just to name a few – Governors and Senators alike.
The Senators carried the load of their departed colleague as poll bearers in the village of Woyani, his final resting place, where his mother’s, father’s and grandmother’s graves looked over his.
Immediate former President Mwai Kibaki was not be left behind as he too made his way to Mbooni to attend the burial of the late Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo.
“I’m sorry I walked in late. I’m late for no good earthly reason except just stopping on the road to talk to people,” Kibaki said amid laughter, this time aided by a walking stick following Wednesday’s slip as he got off the dais at Kilonzo’s requiem mass.
President Uhuru Kenyatta was also present at Thursday’s funeral service where he described Kilonzo as a man unafraid to be the devil’s advocate.
“The honourable Mutula was a patriot. The honourable Mutula was not a person to be driven by partisan interests but rather the national interest. Even if that meant going against a position taken by his party,” the Head of State said.
Ex-Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka said no one should know better than him that Kilonzo had no qualms going against the grain to defend what he believed in. “Yesterday I told you he disagreed with me, his party leader, on numerous occasions.”
“When we attended the funeral of Ruth Waki, obviously appreciating the wonderful performance of his daughter Kethi, he said if it was within his powers he would have appealed to God not to take the life of Ruth Waki but he thought he would probably have to go to a High Court and wouldn’t have gone to the Supreme Court (of which CJ Willy Mutunga is president).”
Retired President Daniel arap Moi who is credited with creating Kilonzo’s wealth on account of the deceased having been his lawyer remembered the senior counsel as, “a brilliant lawyer with a sharp mind.” Moi did not attend the burial but sent his son Gideon with a message.
Kilonzo’s family can only hope that Kilonzo’s memory will not have been erased in the hearts and minds of Kenyans in the weeks it takes to uncover the mystery behind his death.