President William Ruto will preside over a state funeral for Mukami Kimathi, the widow of legendary freedom fighter Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi, on Saturday, May 13th. The ceremony will take place at her home in Njabini, Nyandarua County, as announced by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.
Gachagua led a delegation of politicians from the Mt Kenya region in a mini-memorial service at the Kimathi family home in Njabini. “In consultation with the family and the President, we have agreed that the funeral service will be held on Saturday, May 13, at her home in Njabini, Nyandarua County, and will be presided over by President Ruto,” Gachagua said.
To ensure a dignified farewell for the late Kimathi, the government has formed a national funeral committee, chaired by Dr. Raymond Omollo, the Principal Secretary for Internal Security and National Administration. The committee will collaborate with Nyandarua Governor Moses Badilisha, who will chair the county-level committee.
Mukami Kimathi’s state funeral will not include military honors, similar to the services held for former Vice-President Kijana Wamalwa, Nobel Peace laureate Wangari Maathai, former Nyeri Governor Wahome Gakuru, and former First Lady Lucy Kibaki. State funerals, as defined by Wikipedia, are public ceremonies that observe strict rules of protocol to honor heads of state or other nationally significant individuals.
Gachagua also mentioned that the government will recognize surviving freedom fighters and others involved in the struggle for independence during the service, as requested by the late Kimathi’s family.
Nyandarua Governor Dr. Kiarie Badilisha expressed that Mukami Kimathi deserves a state funeral for her contributions to the fight for Kenyan independence and her tireless work in advocating for the rights of Mau Mau fighters and Kenyans at large. “Ms. Mukami was our mother in Mt Kenya and in the entire country. She played a very important role in the fight for this country’s freedom. We want her to be accorded a State funeral. I also want to assure the family that the county and national government, and all Kenyans will stand with them at this hour of pain,” Badilisha said.
Azimio La Umoja One Kenya leader Raila Odinga, who paid tribute to Mukami Kimathi at the Lee Funeral Home on Sunday, also called for a state funeral to honor her as a freedom heroine.