Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of Kenya died a few hours before meeting with his former main political rival, Jaramongi Oginga Odinga to bury their differences.
This was revealed by the former Member of Parliament for Dagoretti Beth Mugo, Jomo Kenyatta’s niece and longtime close friend of Mama Ngina Kenyatta, the First Lady of Kenya.
In the book about her life ‘Early Bird’, Ms Mugo narrates that her brother, Ngengi Muigai and Mzee Kenyatta had arranged a reconciliation meeting with Jaramogi.
“In fact, Mzee Kenyatta was planning with my brother, Ngengi Muigai, to meet Jaramogi for reconciliation. The meeting to meet Mzee had been postponed twice because of the president’s busy schedule. Unfortunately, Mzee died on August 22, 1978, a few hours before the meeting that was supposed to be held on August 23, 1978, at Mombasa State House. Ngengi, who was in Nairobi to pick up Jaramogi and his team had to travel to Mombasa that night after he got the news that Mzee Kenyatta had died,” Mrs Mugo explains.
She says Jaramogi was in tears when he saw the body of Mzee Kenyatta in Nairobi Statehouse crying that “I can’t believe my friend Kenyatta is dead”.
In the book, Ms Mugo reveals the life of Kenyatta’s family and the hardships they went through including the disappearance of their brother Kungu Muigai at the age of 13.
“It is believed that he was eaten by wild animals,” she writes.
She explains that in his 16-year reign, Mzee Kenyatta traveled abroad only once when he attended the inauguration of Haile Sellasie as the leader of Ethiopia.
Ms Mugo narrates that Mzee Kenyatta was arrested by the colonial government in 1952, one year after he married Mama Ngina.
”After being released from detention, the first thing Mzee Kenyatta did was to invite those who betrayed him to the colonialists to his house, they ate meat and buried their differences and united to “prepare Africans for freedom.”
If you are an historophile, you can check out the book for full political story.