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Read why Njonjo was cremated immediately after death

While the cremation process is still considered taboo in some parts of Kenya, rich families appear to embrace it as an alternative to burial.

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A Crematorium

Even before the news of the passing on of Kenya’s first black Attorney General, Charles Mugane Njonjo, hit the country, his body had already been cremated.

Njonjo’s doctor, David Silverstein, who also served late President Daniel Moi, declared him dead at 5 am Sunday at his home in Muthaiga, Nairobi.

His body was, thereafter, hastily, taken to Lee Funeral Home, where it was prepared for cremation at Kariokor Hindu Crematorium, Nairobi.

What could have led to the fast turn of events for a person of such stature locally and internationally, that even no government officials were present at the cremation?

In an interview with renowned journalist Jackson Biko in 2015, Njonjo, who was then 95, said he did not fear death, adding he had made necessary arrangements for his cremation.

“Death is something you can face, why fear it? I don’t engage in that kind of thought and I don’t want anyone to raise money when I die, friends meeting at the cathedral. I don’t want any collection of money,” he said.

While the cremation process is still considered taboo in some parts of Kenya, rich families appear to embrace it as an alternative to burial.

In 2018, the body of former Cabinet Minister and Second Liberation icon Kenneth Matiba was cremated in a guarded send-off at Lang’ata Crematorium.

Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai was cremated in 2011 in a private ceremony at the Kariokor crematorium after passing on at the Nairobi Hospital after a long fight with ovarian cancer.

John Macharia, the son of Royal Media Services founder SK Macharia, was cremated after dying in a road accident along the Southern Bypass in Nairobi.

Former chairperson of the Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organization, Jane Kiano was also cremated on October 27, 2018, at the Kariokor crematorium two days after her death.

Former Anglican Archbishop Manasses Kuria was cremated in 2005, with a majority of church members voicing strong objections to the rite.

Also, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore was interred at the Kariokor Hindu Crematorium. He passed away on July 1, 2019, at his Nairobi home after a long battle with cancer.

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Atheists fault petition seeking to deregister society

Atheists in Kenya have protested a petition that they say seeks to create a notion that Kenya is a nation by and for believers in God only.

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President of the Atheists in Kenya Society, Harrison Mumia

Atheists in Kenya have protested a petition that they say seeks to create a notion that Kenya is a nation by and for believers in God only.

Former Juja MP, Dr Stephen Ndichu has moved to court seeking to have the Atheists in Kenya Society suspended on grounds that its continued existence is unconstitutional.

In a statement, the society’s president, Harrison Mumia says the petition is an assault on religious freedom and an insult to the diversity of the Kenyan people.

“We find the petition repugnant to a good conscience,” he stated adding that Dr Ndichu is a Christian fundamentalist who seems to harbour paranoid fantasies about the dangers of atheists existing in Kenya.

He further accused Dr Ndichu of seeing enemies where there is none and that the society was surprised, but not shocked as religion has historically inhibited progress.

He vowed that the society would do everything within its power to defend its right to remain a registered society and urged Kenyans to support fighting the petition.

On Sunday, the society said it will be writing to President William Ruto seeking an invitation to State House, just like the evangelical denominations.

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Uhuru Gardens ready for Madaraka Day fete, says PS Kibicho

The principal secretary said they would be visiting the gardens every Thursday until June 1 to ensure all loose ends are tied up properly, promising that the celebrations will be very colourful.

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Madaraka Day

This year’s national Madaraka Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi County will be open to 30,000 people, up from 10,000 in 2021.

Permanent Secretary in the State Department for Interior, Dr Karanja Kibicho, said this follows the relaxation of COVID-19 containment measures.

“Children will also be allowed in on the celebrations this year, and we expect county celebrations to happen too,” the PS said while on an inspection tour of the venue.

The PS said the government decided to move the celebrations from the County rotational back to Nairobi because it will be the last event for the current administration before it exits office.

“Because of the significance of this particular Madaraka day, being the last for this regime, we decided to celebrate it at Uhuru Gardens to break the tradition of celebrating it in counties,”

He revealed that preparations were currently at 90 percent complete and expressed confidence that all will be set for the event as the country marks 59 years of self rule.

The principal secretary said they would be visiting the gardens every Thursday until June 1 to ensure all loose ends are tied up properly, promising that the celebrations will be very colourful.

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Queen Elizabeth mourns Kibaki as a great Statesman with commendable legacy

Kibaki will be buried at his home in Othaya, Nyeri County on Saturday.

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Queen Elizabeth II has mourned former President the late Mwai Kibaki eulogizing him as “a great statesman”.

“I was sorry to receive the news of the death of Mwai Kibaki. He had a lifelong record of service to the Kenyan people. It will be of deep sadness to your country to have lost a great statesman, but Kenya can take pride in the legacy of his leadership. I send you and the people of Kenya my condolences at this loss,” the message read.

The British High Commission further affirmed its close ties to Kenya and renewed its assurances to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The British High Commission avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya the assurances of its highest consideration,” the High Commission said.

The late Kibaki passed away on 21 April 2022, aged 90.

President Uhuru, who issued a proclamation that he would be granted a state funeral with full civilian and military honours, announced his death.

Kibaki will be buried at his home in Othaya, Nyeri County on Saturday.

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