Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has reignited the debate surrounding the Kenyatta family land by insisting that half of it should be surrendered to settle Mau Mau freedom fighters. While he did not name Jomo Kenyatta specifically, Gachagua’s comments appeared to refer to the first family, whom he has previously accused of owning large tracts of land across the country while Mau Mau freedom fighters struggle in poverty.
He has repeated his calls for the Kenyatta family to give up half of their land at the funeral of Mukami, the widow of Dedan Kimathi, who passed away at the age of 101.
Gachagua had previously made a public plea to former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta to consider surrendering half of the family’s land to the Mau Mau fighters when she hosted the late Muthoni Kimathi at her Muthaiga home in Nairobi.
However, he has now called for half of the land owned by those in possession of Mau Mau land to be returned to the survivors and their descendants. Although Gachagua did not directly implicate anyone, he accused unnamed officials of misappropriating approximately Sh5 billion that was intended to resettle the Mau Mau fighters.
Gachagua, who claims to be the son of a Mau Mau member, has stated that his parents were buried with nothing, while collaborators and home guards who fought against the Mau Mau continue to enjoy the spoils of war. He went on to say that they despise and look down upon the descendants of the Mau Mau, despite occupying vast tracts of land that belonged to them.
During Mukami’s funeral, President William Ruto pledged that the government would search for the body of Dedan Kimathi, who was executed by colonial powers and buried at Kamiti Maximum Prison in 1957.
Kimathi’s widow had previously expressed a desire for her husband to be exhumed and given a proper burial, and Ruto assured the family that the search would be launched to fulfill this wish.