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Wanyiri Kihoro: Why I will not attend Kibaki Funeral

By Irene Mugo April 29th, 2022 2 min read

For more than two decades, former Nyeri Town MP Wanyiri Kihoro hoped the late President Mwai Kibaki would extend an olive branch and restore their lost friendship.

Brought together during the struggle for multiparty democracy in 1992 that saw the birth of Democratic Party, Mr Kihoro said Mr Kibaki was a refined gentleman but he failed him as a friend.

On numerous occasions, they have rekindled their friendship in the spirit of working together for the betterment of the country with two incidents standing out for Mr Kihoro.

He fondly recalls when the late President traveled to London where he was in exile in a quest to start a “political friendship.”

The sequel was that he became the first Nyeri Town MP on a DP ticket and he rallied resources and campaigned for him to attain the presidency.

He gave Sh16 million towards the campaign in 2002.

Three weeks after they had won the presidency after a vigorous campaign in 2002, the former MPs wife Wanjiru Kihoro was involved in a plane crash in Busia during the homecoming event for former Vice President Moody Awori.

Other people who were in the crash include Martha Karua, Martha Koome, Raphael Tuju and Linah Kilimo.

The plane crash claimed the lives of two other people.

She slipped into a coma for three and a half years at both the Kenyatta National Hospital and Nairobi hospital until she passed on with no visitation from the late President.

Ms Wanjiru Kihoro was one of the key strategists who contributed to the 2002 win for the late Kibaki.

“He should have gone to the hospital… he should have shown that friendship a bit of humanity. He never called me or send any message from State House and nobody could have stopped it but he did not have the time and that is the main reason I will not be attending his funeral,” he said.

He further noted that, the only time that the former president reached out to him was when his wife Wanjiru was about to be buried.

“I told him not to come to my wife’s funeral because when someone is dead all they are bringing is flowers, I needed him when my wife was alive… he abandoned me at my hour of need,” he said.

Even as people describe Mr Kibaki as a man who never got angry, Mr Kihoro said he had an experience that saw the former President kick him out of his office.

He recalls that during campaigns in the run up to the 2002 General Election, Mr Kibaki formed a political caucus of MPs from the GEMA community in the Democratic Party.

They held several meetings in Embu and Meru but Mr Kihoro did not attend any of the meetings whose sole intention was to affirm that DP was not Kanu.

“I did not show up for any of the meetings and Moi was keeping an eye on them to a point that some legislators were arrested. I was touted as the enemy within and accused of derailing the DP agenda. Kibaki got angry with me,” he said.

He further stated that when he went to the former president to explain why he could not attend the meetings, Kibaki ordered him out of his office.

“I was shocked because all along people said he was calm and understanding. But even before I could explain my point he kicked me out of his office,” Mr Kihoro said.