Claims of witch-hunt in the war against corruption dominated speeches made at the burial of Maria Immaculata Wanjiku, the mother of suspended Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau.
Mr Kamau sent emissaries to President Uhuru Kenyatta and his predecessors, Mwai Kibaki and Daniel Moi telling them to deliver the message: “I am clean. Tell them I am not a thief as claimed.”
The CS, who was arrested by Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) officers on the day his mother passed on, said he was a victim of false accusations and that his track record in the three consecutive governments in which he served was public.
He claimed some cartels were threatening him with death and were working to see him removed, especially after they were denied tenders in the ongoing Standard Gauge Railway project.
“I want to make a personal statement here. The person addressing you is not a thief. Sijakula kitu ya mtu yeyote (I have not stolen anybody’s property),” he told the mourners who were packed in a tent mounted next to his mother’s house.
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Kamau moved mourners to tears when he said he was sending his deceased mother to his late father to tell him he (Kamau) was being targeted unfairly.
“I am not saying this to draw pity from you or any other Kenyans. I want my mother to go and tell my father I have not taken anybody’s property,” said Kamau. “I have seen people come to my office and demand I do things for them (contracts), but I am urging you never to condemn anybody.”
Kamau sent the Chief of Staff and Presidential advisor Joseph Kinyua to President Kenyatta.
“Bwana Kinyua, go and tell the President I have not embarrassed him. I am saying this in front of my mother before she is buried and I am saying it from the bottom of my heart,” he said.
He also sent a Mr Wang’ombe, who read former President Kibaki’s condolences, saying the accusations against him dated back to when he served as a Permanent Secretary in the former president’s administration.
The burial was attended by a host of leaders among them Cabinet secretaries Jacob Kaimenyi (Education), Davis Chirchir (Energy; suspended), Felix Koskey (Agriculture, also suspended) and Starehe MP Maina Kamanda.
During the service, leaders, among them Mr Kamanda, termed Kamau a sacrificial lamb, as he noted that there was a cartel working to ensure they “finish leaders allied to the Jubilee government”.
Kamanda claimed the move by EACC to name Kamau on the “list of shame” may have accelerated his mother’s death.
Kieni MP Kanini Kega, in his condolences, said EACC had launched a plot to target and implicate leaders from Mt Kenya region in corruption, saying they would not sit back and watch.
“We are launching a fight and we want to tell them that we will not relent until we win,” he said.