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It is cremation for billionaire and former chief secretary Kiereini, says family



Former Head of Civil Service Jeremiah Kiereini will be cremated today at a private family function. He joins a growing list of prominent Kenyans who have opted for cremation over burial.

Although details of the interment remained scanty, with the family remaining tight-lipped, a family friend confidentially revealed to The Standard that it was Kiereini’s desire that he be cremated. “It will be a very, very private affair and I am told the media is not allowed to attend.

Apart from the close family members, I’m told only a few friends have been invited,” said the source. Kiereini left the civil service in 1984 after retiring as the Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet under retired President Daniel Moi’s government, and plunged into the private sector, where he made a name heading several corporate organisations.He died on Monday night aged 90 at his home in Nairobi.

Contacted yesterday, his daughter Nemaisa Kiereini, who is the CEO of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, reiterated the statement the family had issued on Tuesday, saying that the tycoon would be interred today. She did not indicate the mode of interment.

“We will communicate to you in case of anything. But as it is, the function tomorrow is a strict family affair. The funeral service will be communicated at a later date,” she said.

READ ALSO:   The day Jeremiah Kiereini nearly killed Njee Muturi's father

Kiereini’s cremation comes amid the escalation of the debate on this mode of disposing of the dead, which is slowly gaining root over the traditionally known burials that have of late been described as very costly.

Interestingly, a majority of those who have opted for cremation – mainly by so stating in their wills or verbal communication to their families – are wealthy Kenyans who own large swathes of land and whose families can easily afford the huge costs of their burials.

Matiba cremated

In April last year, multi-party struggle hero Kenneth Matiba was cremated at Lang’ata Crematorium, with the family choosing to fulfill the wish he had made 26 years ago.

This is despite many Kenyans, and especially those from his Murang’a backyard, expressing their wish for his burial locally.

His cremation dashed the hopes of many of his supporters who had wished for a State burial for the second liberation hero.

Unknown to them, Matiba had in 1994 expressed his wish to be cremated, rubbishing the pompous burials preceded by “dancing parties and harambees.”

He said he did not wish for mourners to be subjected to endless fundraisers to meet his burial expenses.“After all, the Kikuyu traditionally never buried their dead. They used to take the bodies into the forest to be devoured by hyenas. Was that not wisdom?” “If a man was not assisted while he was alive, why should people raise funds for him after he dies?” Matiba, then Ford-Asili leader, was quoted as saying.

READ ALSO:   The day Jeremiah Kiereini nearly killed Njee Muturi's father

Before Matiba, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai had been cremated at the Kariokor Crematorium, also according to her wishes.

The famed conservationist, who became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for her “contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace”, did not wish for trees – that she had spent years protecting – to be felled to make a coffin for her burial.

The ashes of her remains were interred at the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies, in accordance with her wishes.

Former Anglican Church Archbishop Manasses Kuria and his wife Mary Kuria were also cremated, sparking a major debate within the church on this ritual and its place in Christianity.The Anglican head was cremated in 2005, three years after his wife had undergone the same ritual.

Last year, John Macharia, the son of Royal Media Services chairman SK Macharia, was cremated at Lang’ata after he died following an accident on the Southern by-pass.

Kanu-era assistant Minister Peter Okondo was cremated in Kariokor in 1996, while former Kenya National Sports Council Chairman Joshua Okuthe underwent the same rite in 2009.The debate over cremation has continued to be a divisive one, even as it continues gaining acceptance among a conservative society that is still deeply rooted in the much-accepted burial.According to the Provost of the All Saints Cathedral, Very Rev Canon Sammy Wainaina, the decision to cremate is personal.“It is more of a cultural and philosophical issue rather than a biblical one. However, it must be done with sensitivity to the family. The Bible does not give specific directions for the disposal of the body following death,” says the Anglican senior cleric.

READ ALSO:   The day Jeremiah Kiereini nearly killed Njee Muturi's father

He adds: “Christian church rejects cremation, partly because of its association with Pagan societies of Greece and Rome. Christians buried their dead in graves or in catacombs (underground vaults). Traditionally, Christians will want to show respect for the body.”


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Kenya Airways CEO resigns



Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer Sebastian Mikosz has resigned on “personal grounds”, effective December 31.

In an internal memo to staff, Mr Mikosz said he had decided to shorten his contract.

“It is my personal decision and I have obviously discussed it with the board as well as my family,” he said.

He noted that he had informed the Capital Markets Authority and the Nairobi Securities Exchange of his decision, in line with regulations since KQ is a listed company.

Mikosz, who speaks fluent French, English and Russian in addition to his native Polish, was appointed in 2017 and was seen as the fresh hire who would stop the airline’s loss-making.

This was due to his experience turning around LOT Polish Airlines, the flag carrier of Poland.

The CEO noted that he remains “fully determined” to the plans for the national carrier’s turnaround that were rolled out three years ago.

“I believe this is the ideal timing to begin a transition process to find someone who will continue with the turnaround initiatives,” he said.

Mr Mikosz noted that the efforts have seen the company decrease its losses from Sh25 billion in 2014 to Sh7.5 million currently.

“I am convinced that KQ is on a good path for a full recovery,” he stated.

READ ALSO:   The day Jeremiah Kiereini nearly killed Njee Muturi's father

The CEO also informed staff that he would be travelling to China to work on the launch of directs flights to Beijing.

He will also attend the International Air Transport Association General Assembly and carry out a business review in Bangkok.

Mr Mikosz has been pushing the Kenyan government to take decisive actions – to either nationalise the airline or change its mandate in a way that would remove the dividend-paying requirement from its shoulders, given its main competitors are State-backed.

“We must be given a different mandate,” he said when he visited Nation Centre this week.

The CEO and group managing director has argued that the ground for Kenya Airways is uneven owing to the shareholding structure of its rivals.

Its main competitors – Ethiopian, RwandAir and the three Gulf carriers – are all 100 per cent State-owned.

This means that to compete with them, Kenya’s national carrier needs the kind of muscle that only the government can offer.

Mr Mikosz’s biggest blow came recently when the government appeared to have had a change of heart on its planned merger with Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), which it was hoping to use to turn around its fortunes.

Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) did not help as it questioned the financial viability of the deal given KQ was the one in problems.

READ ALSO:   The day Jeremiah Kiereini nearly killed Njee Muturi's father

Unions have never been on its side – they have been demanding the removal of Mr Mikosz as well as the management team.

Instead of focusing on the turnaround strategy, the chief executive has found himself having to explain just how much he and his expats earn.

Mr Mikosz flew in with a team of polish expats, described by insiders as his ‘kitchen cabinet’ that were initially thought to have been needed for just six months.

Their skills have remained wanted at the airline almost two years later, to the chagrin of union officials.

Mr Mikosz defended his strategy, which he maintains is working, but it has not worked at the pace he needs to fly KQ out of the loss-making territory.

His quick wins include finalising the deal that saw banks convert their debt into equity, lifting a repayment burden that was choking its cash flows.

He also counts the direct flights to the US as another feather in his cap.

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Photo of Sonko’s daughter with Miraa and wine gets mixed reaction



Just like her father, Saumu Mbuvi has brought about mixed reaction after sharing a photo online with Miraa.

Saumu’s dad,  Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, surprised many after sharing a clip enjoying a bunch of Miraa straight from Meru. The photo brought about mixed reaction as many didn’t understand why a governor would do such a thing.

Mbuvi, shared the photo on social media with the drug but it’s not clear if she was taking them.

Mixed emotions

The photo came with a lot of mixed reaction as Kenyans poured out their opinion as usual. While some were interested to see that she was carrying miraa, others rebuked her clamming that the drug is not for women at all.



READ ALSO:   The day Jeremiah Kiereini nearly killed Njee Muturi's father
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Why you can’t have consensual gay sex in Kenya – High Court



The High Court on Friday declined to decriminalise sections of the Penal Code that make it illegal to have consensual same sex in Kenya.

Judges Roselyn Aburili, Chacha Mwita and John Mativo noted that phrases used in the law are clear and disclose offences known in law.

They further said a statute is not rendered vague for lack of a definition and that the petitioners failed to prove discrimination and violation of rights.


Petitioners wanted the court to quash sections 162 and 165 of the Penal Code.

The law states that a person contravening the sections, whether in public or private, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for five years.


Section 162 reads: “Any person who – (a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or (b) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or (c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.

Section 165 reads that any male person who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with another male person, or procures another male person to commit any act of gross indecency with him, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any male person with himself or with another male person, whether in public or private, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for five years.

READ ALSO:   The day Jeremiah Kiereini nearly killed Njee Muturi's father


The petitioners argue that the State has no business regulating matters of intimacy; they told the judges that gay feelings are natural and that the State should not interfere with the private matters of two consenting adults.

It is their argument that the two sections are discriminatory and contravene various provisions of the Constitution such as the right to equality, freedom from discrimination, human dignity, freedom, security and privacy.

However, religious groups say such matters should be guided by the country’s values.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has said in the past that gay rights are a “non-issue” in Kenya, as same-sex relations are not an issue of human rights, but of “our own base as a culture”.

During a visit to Kenya in 2015, Barack Obama, the then US president, directly challenged Mr Kenyatta, on the need for equality for the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) community, suggesting that “bad things happen” when countries do not accept their citizens’ right to be homosexual.

Mr Kenyatta bluntly shut down Mr Obama’s discussion on gay rights terming it “a non-issue” and that Kenya is not keen on embracing homosexuality.


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