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Politician Kajembe buried as two of his children taken ill

Medical workers carry the remains of Ramadhan Seif Kajembe at Kwa Shee, Mikindani, in Mombasa. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

Former Changamwe legislator Ramadhan Seif Kajembe was buried on Saturday amid reports that two of his children have been taken ill.

Thousands of mourners watched from a safe distance amid a heavy police presence as the body was taken to the cemetery and lowered into the grave by a medical team covered from head to toe in white hazmat suits.

Kajembe, a veteran of Mombasa politician, rose to prominence after defeating the late Kennedy Kiliku in 1997 for the Changamwe seat on a Kanu ticket.

His family has suffered immense tragedy after he lost the 2013 senatorial race for Mombasa. His son, Seif Kajembe, who tried to succeed him as MP on an Orange Democratic Movement ticket died abroad in 2017. Kajembe's son-in-law Badi Twalib captured the seat on a Wiper Democratic Movement ticket.

His wife Zaharia died early this year. Two weeks ago, Aziza, his other wife, also died suddenly. By then, he was too sick in hospital to attend her burial.

It was speculated that the family had been afflicted by Covid-19 after being visited by an infected young relative who recovered from the virus.

Some reports indicate some family members contracted the disease during the washing of Aziza's body before burial at Kwa Shee Cemetery where the late former MP was also buried.

Badi told the Standard it was not right to speculate about the cause of deaths in the Kajembe family in recent weeks.

He disclosed that one of Kajembe's sons and daughter had checked into hospital for what he described as check-up, but denied reports they were in critical condition.

“We are going through a trying moment as a family but these should be treated as normal deaths,” Badi said, describing the late Kajembe as a development-conscious leader and his mentor in politics.

Kajembe was laid to rest in a simple grave dug next to that of his first wife, Aziza, who died two weeks ago.

Other family members who have been buried in the same cemetery include Kajembe's sons Hatib Kajembe who died in 2006, Seif Kajembe (2017) and his second wife, Zaharia, who died about six months ago.

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