NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 9 – When he climbed up the Dedan Kimathi monument and chained himself for over seven hours, he made it clear that only his grandmother – the widow of the late freedom fighter Field Marshall Dedan Kimathi- would make him come down.
And so shortly before 5pm, Mukami Kimathi arrived on Kimathi Street, having been driven from Njambini, in Central Kenya on hearing that her grandson had refused to leave the monument.
“I am waiting for my grandmother to come… I will not come down,” the man had told the huge crowd that had gathered to witness the bizarre event at the centre of the capital city.
Mukami arrived at the overcrowded scene escorted by police and family members.
In a spectacle that brought the crowd to tears, Mukami urged her grandson to come down from the monument so they could speak.
“We agreed I come, I have come. Kimathi…. Come down we go home my grandson, let’s go home,” she said in Kikuyu.
Waciuri, a brother to Kimathi who had chained himself, said he chose to draw attention to the family since they are languishing in poverty and cannot afford to offset a hospital bill incurred by their mother, Mukami’s daughter.
Waciuri explained that their mother who has been in hospital and discharged could not leave because they do not have money to pay the bills.
“He is only doing this because of frustration. His grandfather fought for this country, they built a house for our ‘cucu’ (Mukami) but what about the children, and his mother is at the hospital because she does not have that amount of money to pay so that she can be released from the hospital,” he explained.
The woman in hospital is said to be the third born in the family of the late Dedan Kimathi.
Her attention seeking son is also said to be jobless making it difficult to maintain his family.
Family members who gathered on Kimathi Street after learning in the media that their relative was at the monument claimed that they had not received any help from the government apart from a house built for the late Kimathi’s widow.
The monument along Kimathi Street was erected in honour one of Kenya’s leading heroes who fought for the country’s independence.