By Oscar obonyo
As anticipated, a sea of humanity descended at the rural home of Martin Shikuku for his final journey on Saturday. Though sombre, it was a colourful event that blended modern, Christian and traditional rites.
Except for laying him to rest in the burial place which he personally prepared nine years ago, mourners disregarded Shikuku’s other three key wishes – that there should be no political speeches, that his political foes should not attend the event and shed crocodile tears by showering him with praise.
He also said mourners should celebrate and not wail during his funeral.
As the Mercedes van carrying the coffin led the convoy of vehicles into his rural home at exactly 6.34pm on Friday, hundreds of mourners who had already gathered at the home wailed uncontrollably.
Men and women who were busy in the middle of funeral preparations, abandoned their tasks to meet “Son of Oyondi”.
Besides clearing the main road leading to Shikuku’s home with graders, the Government presence and that of its officers was heavy in Kiminini. On the eve of his burial, fresh mounds of earth on the newly prepared road rendered it impassable after a heavy downpour in the early afternoon.
The hearse carrying Shikuku’s remains had to use alternative road via Ndalu – a long winding murrum road to the politician’s homestead.
Meanwhile, aware of the invasion of their privacy on the burial day by the public and political heavyweights, family members and Aberetsera clan opted to go through paces of the funeral rites on Friday.
“We opted to do this today because owing to his (Shikuku) stature, tomorrow will be chaotic as serikali (government) will be fully in charge. This is our only day,” said Mzee Zachariah Barasa, a member of the family.
Earlier in the day, Shikuku’s former parliamentary colleagues from the 1960s to early 1990s paid glowing tribute in a special early morning session. He was the Chairman of the former MPs association. They were led by former Cabinet minister and Shikuku’s neighbour in Kiminini, Burudi Nabwera.