Kenneth Matiba

The late Kenneth Matiba will be cremated and not buried, seemingly in keeping in line with his wishes to his family back in 1994.

It has emerged that the multiparty democracy champion also never wished to be accorded a state funeral upon his death.

The late veteran politician Kenneth Matiba’s farewell has reportedly been slated for Friday, April 27, but he will not be buried as many Kenyans would expect.

It has emerged the late former opposition chief never wanted a pompous funeral ceremony or burial and his family intends to honour all his wishes.

In January 1994, Matiba was quoted in the local dailies saying he did not wish to be buried or his funeral celebrated with dance and harambees (fund-drives).

“If a man was not assisted while he was alive, why should people raise funds for him after he dies? When I die, there will be no fund-drives or fanfare,” he reportedly said.

According to multiple family sources, the family intend to honour the veteran politician wishes, which included cremation instead of burial.

The family had indicated Matiba will have two funeral services, the first one on Wednesday, April 25, at the All Saints’ Cathedral, Nairobi, and the final service on Thursday, April 26, at Ihura Stadium, Murang’a County, a day to his final send-off.

Although it was initially not clear when, where and how Matiba will be buried, with the exception of government’s announcement that he will be accorded a state burial, sources close to the family revealed he will be cremated at Lang’ata crematorium in Nairobi on Friday in accordance with his wishes.

There had been rumours that the people of Muranga had insisted that the veteran politician must be buried in Muranga, and not Kiambu, where he has a home in Limuru.

Matiba passed on on Sunday, April 15, at the Karen Hospital, Nairobi, after ailing for years.

He was 85 at the time of his death.

He will be remembered for his painful struggles, including detention without trial and torture, and spirited fight for multi-party democracy that Kenya enjoys today.


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