Meru man meets president, shelves plans to sell property for campaign
It is Sunday afternoon at the home of Mzee Zablon Mukiira in Nkabune, Meru and his phone rings incessantly as relatives and friends call in to ask about his experience meeting President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mr Mukiira, now known as President Kenyatta’s fan, came to the limelight for his resolve to sell his cattle and land to campaign for the Jubilee Party presidential flag bearer.
On Friday evening, Mr Mukiira, a 78-year-old Mau Mau veteran, shared a table with the president’s campaign financiers and addressed the high and mighty during an invite-only dinner at Nairobi’s Safari Park Hotel.
His efforts and passion was recognized at the opulent meeting where at least Sh1 billion is said to have been raised.
Having been convinced not to sell his property, Mr Mukiira is now waiting for the president to oil his campaign against the National Super Alliance (Nasa) across Meru, Isiolo and Tharaka-Nithi.
When the Nation visited Mukiira at his home, perched on the edges of Ikuu hill, he was still wearing the suit that he wore to the President’s campaign fundraising dinner.
He was yet to get over the prime opportunity to greet and hug the president before taking the podium.
His wife Esther is still in awe of her husband whom she thought was going to be incarcerated after the area chief and a police officer picked him from their home on Thursday evening.
She had earlier thought her husband had gone crazy when he insisted on selling their only possessions.
“After my story was published in the Daily Nation, I received a call from my chief asking for my ID number. I was later picked by the assistant chief and a police officer who took me to the Deputy County Commissioner. I was interrogated and then asked to prepare myself to meet the president on Friday,” Mr Mukiira recounts.
He added: “The DCC inquired whether I owned a good suit. He sent the police officer and the assistant chief to my home to find out if I had a good suit. I showed them all my clothes and they picked two suits before advising me on which one to wear while meeting the president.”
Besides his two set of suits, the DO who accompanied him to Nairobi bought a new suit at Embu and advised him to wear it for the dinner.
The Jubilee supporter pleasantly narrates how he was booked into the hotel and served a sumptuous lunch before a long wait for the president.
“The president arrived at around 9pm and there were about 500 people in the hall. After he had settled down, he was told that his supporter from Meru was in the house. I was called forward. I greeted him and we hugged; I felt like God had come down,” Mr Mukiira said.
When he was given a chance to speak, the old man recounted the cause for his radical decision before giving a list of requests to the presidents.
Top in the list was his jobless son and Nkabune assistant chief who has not been promoted despite being the acting chief for long.
FEEDBACK FROM PRESIDENT
“I am now waiting for feedback from the president because I was asked not to sell my bull, sheep and plot. If they do not want me to sell my property, they should give me the money to start the campaign,” he said.
If funded, Mr Mukiira said he would hire a vehicle, a public address system and an emcee with whom he will traverse Meru, Isiolo and Tharaka-Nithi to drum support for Uhuru Kenyatta.
He says under the Jubilee government, he has received a monthly stipend and free medical care through NHIF.
“I want Mr Kenyatta re-elected so that he can continue this good work. I realized Nasa was a threat when I attended a meeting at Kiburine in Imenti North last month. That is when I resolved to go out and change the minds of the opposition supporters,” he remarked.
Mr Mukiira has also been promised Sh100, 000 by Meru Jubilee gubernatorial candidate Kiraitu Murungi.
Senator Kiraitu said he would fund Mr Mukiira since he was advancing Jubilee Party’s agenda in the region.
In the meantime, the Mau Mau veteran has to contend with inquiries from villagers who believe he left Nairobi with a tidy sum of money from the president.