The Tom Mboya mausoleum has become a place where politicians go to seek blessings.
The mausoleum is located in Rusinga ward, Suba North Constituency, Homa Bay County. The mausoleum was built in memory of the late Thomas Joseph Mboya, also known as Tom Mboya.
Mboya worked in various capacities. Before independence, he was the Minister of Labour. An astute trade unionist. Mboya was a prominent Kenyan who fought for the country's independence during British colonial rule.
He became minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs in Mzee Jomo Kenyatta's government after independence.
However, a little-known secret about the mausoleum has been revealed. The secret is that the Tom Mboya Mausoleum bestows blessings on politicians seeking elected positions. Caroli Omondi, the newly elected MP for Suba South, paid a visit to the mausoleum one Saturday afternoon.
On Wednesday night, Omondi was declared the winner of the Suba South parliamentary seat. On Saturday midday, he drove himself several kilometres from his home in Gwassi South ward to Mbita town, passing through Sori town in Nyatike Constituency, Ndhiwa town in Ndhiwa Constituency, Rodi Kopany Township, and Junction Kodoyo in Homa Bay Town Constituency.
He arrived on Rusinga Island after crossing the Mbita bridge on Lake Victoria. He drove to Kamasengre village and paid his respects at Tom Mboya Mausoleum. When he arrived, he was greeted by Paul Ndiege, the late Tom Mboya's younger brother. Ndiege is also in charge of the mausoleum's curator.
Omondi went straight to Tom Mboya's grave and made the sign of the cross, as is customary in the Catholic Church. After about five minutes of prayer, he went inside to sign a visitor's book.
The newly elected MP walked around the compound for about six minutes before leaving the mausoleum. The Nairobian asked him why he felt compelled to pray at Mboya's grave.
Omondi described the late Mboya as a hero and a selfless politician who always worked to empower his community. "Tom Mboya was a political enigma. Any politician who follows in his footsteps will always be successful in life," he said.
Omondi contended that the value he placed on Mboya made it impossible for him to return to Nairobi before paying tribute to him after he won the parliamentary seat.
"I've been meeting with my constituents for the last two and a half days, but I couldn't leave before visiting Mboya. Following the good deeds he performed while alive, he is a source of inspiration to me."
He recalls Mboya undertaking a number of projects that transformed the lives of many people not only in Homa Bay County but throughout Kenya.
Such projects include the African American Scholarship Foundation, also known as the Airlift programme, which assisted many African students in obtaining higher education in America through scholarships.
Mboya was also instrumental in the establishment of numerous institutions in Homa Bay County.
Politicians who trusted his leadership were also given more power. Omondi believes that honouring Mboya can help someone advance in their career.
"Mboya was a great leader who I wish was still alive today, but humans have no control over death," Omondi said.
According to the late Mboya's brother Ndiege, politicians use the mausoleum as a recreational facility as well as a shrine. Many politicians from Nyanza and other parts of the country, according to Ndiege, visit the mausoleum to seek blessings.
"Because Mboya was such a charismatic politician, many politicians come here to seek his blessings," Ndiege said.
Tom Mboya was born on August 15, 1930, and assassinated on July 5, 1969, in Nairobi.