A woman who stood with a fighter and fought as a fighter is finally going to rest as a fighter
Mukami Kimathi was the wife of Mau Mau fighter Dedan Kimathi. She remained a widow when the British colonialists killed her husband in the early 1957. Nearly 60 years later, she went to meet her husband in glory.
The celebrated widow of Dedan Kimathi passed on at the age of 101 years.
Mukami died on April 4 as a result of breathing problems which of course, were exacerbated by old age conditions. She has lived and seen them all; but politics will dominate her send-off.
Two factions of Mau Mau descendants have already shown their rivalries in public, threatening the unity of Mount Kenya. While Rigathi Gachagua aims to retain his position as Mount Kenya kingpin, former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga is on his toes politically.
The preparations for the burial of Mukami Kimathi are underway. The government has already made plans to accord the veteran a state burial.
She deserves it, of course, considering her contribution to the independence of our country. While many feel that post-independence governments have neglected the true freedom fighters, the burial ceremony is not and must not be the place to settle political scores.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has assured the family of Mukami Kimathi that they will get maximum support from the government. Maina Njenga has also demonstrated his support by visiting the family and mourning with them.
Before her death, Mukami Kimathi lived in Nairobi. She also had a home in Njabini, Kinangop, on a land donated to her by the former President Jomo Kenyatta.
Mukami will be remembered for fighting for the welfare of Mau Mau fighters.
“She was a great fighter for the rights of the Mau Mau. We are saddened that she died before she could get the remains of her husband, Dedan Kimathi, removed from Kamiti prison, which was her wish,” said Daniel Mwangi Njoroge, secretary of the Mau Mau Association Nyandarua.
The body of the independence heroine will be viewed by the public on Saturday before her burial.
Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo, who chairs her funeral committee, said the public will be accorded an opportunity to view her body at the Lee Funeral Home on Saturday morning 6-7am.
Thereafter, the body of the deceased will leave Lea Funeral Home for burial at her rural home in Njabini, Nyandarua County.
Trade CS Moses Kuria has called on the government to exhume Dedan Kimathi’s remains from Kamiti Prison to be buried alongside his wife at their home county.
Before she died, Mukami had actively advocated for the remains of her husband to be buried at their home in Njabini.
Dedan Kimathi was captured by British Colonialists in 1956 at the Aberdare ranges and executed in 1957 at Kamiti Prison.
However, no one currently knows where Kimathi was buried except the British administration of the time. Efforts to locate Kimathi’s remains have so far been futile.