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Thousands attend burial of controversial Embu tycoon Dennis Mbae

Hearse ferrying Dennis Mbae's body on Friday, June 17, 2022. 

Controversial Embu businessman Dennis Mbae Mutegi alias Mbuyu was buried on Friday in a funeral attended by thousands of Embu residents.

Mbae, whose family and close friends described him as a family man and philanthropist despite many associating him with crime, was shot dead on June 8, 2022.

There was a sombre mood at Gakwegori private morgue as several women collapsed upon viewing his body.

Mortuary attendants and security agents tasked with enforcing order had a hard time controlling the large crowd that showed up at the morgue. 

Mbae’s body was released from the morgue as the last for the day after 11:00am.

A source familiar with the arrangements said they let other mourners pick their loved ones first in case chaos erupted at the morgue.

“The mortuary administration was very careful as there were rumours that some people could stop the burial or cause unnecessary disruptions,” the source revealed.

Embu residents head to the burial site of businessman Dennis Mbae on Friday.

In an unusual twist, Mbae did not have his obituary read at the funeral. Ann Wangui, one of Mbae’s widows, said the large crowd of people at the funeral was an indication that he was loved by many.

“Look at how people have shown up in their numbers, just to give him their last respects as he was a man of the people,” said Wangui.

The funeral convoy snaked its way through Embu town escorted by hundreds of boda bodas as residents paraded along the road to get a glimpse of the casket.

The convoy made its way through Dallas estate where Mbae lived and made stopovers at the several business outlets he owned.

Finally, the convoy made a stopover near Bonanza where the late Mbae was gunned down and mourners bowed down at the spot to give their last respect.

A section of mourners at the burial site of businessman Mbae Mutegi.

At Gatondo village where the final rites were carried out, photography was not allowed. The farm where Mbae was buried was privately acquired and unknown to many.

Embu West sub-County Police Commander, Julius Kyumbule, said police had to forcefully remove mourners from the town as they had begun disrupting normal activities. 

“We had some intel that they wanted to march through the streets, though we had agreed with the organisers not to do so. They tried to play a hide a seek game but we peacefully pushed them out of town,” said Mr Kyumbule.