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Moi's chief State House gardener laid to rest

By Philip Muasya | December 20th 2020
Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu with Isaac Kalua during the burial of his father Bishop David Kalua at Unyaa village in Kitui. [Philip Muasya, Standard]

The man who served as State House superintendent of gardens during President Daniel Moi's tenure was on Saturday laid to rest.

Bishop David Kalua, a one-time prisons warden, was buried at his Unyaa village home in Kitui county.

The ceremony was presided over by members of the clergy and local politicians.

Kalua, who died at the age of 83, was eulogised as a true servant of the Lord and a distinguished environmentalist.

Governor Charity Ngilu lays a wreath during the burial of bishop David Kalua at Unyaa village in Kitui County. [Philip Muasya, Standard]

Political leaders who attended the event included Governor Charity Ngilu, Senator Enoch Wambua and former Machakos senator Johnstone Muthama. They planted trees in honour of the departed hero.

Kalua will be remembered for the role he played as a chief gardener at State House and more importantly for including a fresh rose on Moi's lapel every morning.

The former president spotted the late Kalua at Kenya Prisons College where he was in charge of gardening and beautification.

He later offered him a job at State House as the superintendent of gardens during which Kalua established a chapel at State House.

His burial was not short of political undertones as Muthama and Ngilu seemed to pull in different directions regarding the BBI report.

While Ngilu hailed the report as a solution to the challenges bedeviling the counties and called for its support, Muthama said he would continue opposing the report, saying it has nothing worthwhile for the Kamba community.

"We were agitating for Kitui to get an extra county. That has not happened...time is now for the community to stand up for its rights," Muthama said.

His call for a Mwingi county was supported by Wambua who said the document had offered the Kamba community the short end of the stick.

Governor Charity Ngilu with former Machakos senator Johnstone Muthama during the burial of bishop David Kalua at Unyaa village in Kitui County. [Philip Muasya, Standard]

But Ngilu responded that BBI was not being put in place to create counties. She said through canvassing, the vast county had now been slotted to get an additional constituency.

The governor said there was a need for Kamba leaders to unite ahead of the 2022 elections to be part of the government.

At the same time, Muthama criticised President Uhuru Kenyatta for what he called inflicting suffering on the impeached Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and finally engineering his removal.

"They took three quarters of Sonko's government and gave it to somebody who is not elected. This is the height of mockery," said Muthama.

The former senator who is allied to Deputy President William Ruto appealed to the fallen governor to join their ranks and prepare to recapture his seat in 2022.

"Despite what has happened I'm urging Sonko to stay firm. In 2022 we shall take him back to Nairobi and ensure he gets his seat back," Muthama said.

Others who attended the burial were Kenya ambassador to Uganda Kiema Kilonzo, Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr and Kitui Central MP Makali Mulu.

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