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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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Introducing Baba Mboga



If you told Sydney Muhando last year that he would be running a fresh produce grocery city business, he definitely would not have agreed.

The online comedian and drama teacher who is also a video editor was on stage with his trainees in a competition when the first case of Covid-19 was announced in the country.

This was followed by indefinite closure of schools. For him, he knew it would only take a few days before schools reopen. It has now taken six months for candidates to resume their studies.

In the same period, Mr Muhando has grown his online business, Baba Mboga Deliveries, a name he says he chose because of its uniqueness.

Every morning, he wakes up at dawn to go to Wangige Market, one of the largest markets in Kiambu County where he gets assorted fruits and vegetables.

He then sorts them according to what has been ordered and packages them in bags ready to deliver to his customers doorsteps.

Social media pages

Most of the time, people especially in urban residential areas purchase their vegetables and other fresh products from local shops just near their homes commonly known as ‘Mama Mboga’.

“I stayed for two months without a job and life became difficult and  I knew I could not sustain myself for long. My friend had been sending me to the market to get grocery for him at a fee and that is how I identified the gap,”  he says.

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

With a capital of Sh800 and running short of time, the 28-year-old started purchasing more food from the market, posting them on his social media pages to let his friends know about it. He then delivers them to his customers.

He explains that being a city, many residents hardly get time to go to the market, especially to get traditional or indigenous vegetables. There is also a growing culture for online shopping among Nairobi residents.

“In a city like Nairobi, most people are busy, so I took advantage of that to serve them in their own houses. Many people, were also scared of going to crowded market places fearing that they would contract the disease,”  he says.

Free delivery

For months, Mr Muhando has garnered a huge following both on Facebook and Instagram.

But it is not that easy to open and run social media pages for a full-time online business. Most businesses find it difficult to produce content to market their products.

Luckily, for Mr Muhando who is an online comedian, anything to do with technology is not so hard for him. It only took an hour to create and set up his Facebook account.

“It takes witty captions and for you to have a good camera. It is also important to post the prices. Without seeing the prices, the customers will not be interested in the products, especially if it’s a small business,”  he adds.

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

He additionally posts the menu for his vegetables, with various discounts to attract customers including free delivery for those purchasing goods worth more than Sh1,000.

To have a variety and almost everything one needs in their kitchen, Baba Mboga apart from greens and fruits also sells spices such as ginger, garlic and onions, with starches such as sweet potatoes and arrowroots as well as eggs.

Invest in branding 

To grow his business, Mr Muhando says it was important to invest in branding for his audience to take it seriously.

He targets families and the busy clientele who could be at work or travelling. On a good day, he makes up to Sh2,000 after delivery.

In his recent innovation, as it is by some business owners who want to add value to their products, he has also introduced the bachelors package, where the traditional vegetables, which usually take time to be made are picked and sorted for easy preparation.

He also does extra services including chopping onions, tomatoes and preparing fruits or vegetables depending on the customer’s orders. Afterwards, he packs them in a branded reusable shopping bag.

As his business expands, Mr Muhando has sought partners who work with him, one, who is in charge of transport and deliveries while another is in charge of a walk-in store he is putting up.

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

Major challenge 

His major challenge is finding the balance between the cost he uses to purchase the vegetables and delivering them at the customer’s doorstep.

“Since my customers are spread all over, the main issue is balancing the delivery that it does not eat into  my  profits. Competition is also high since more people are now tapping into this business so it requires a lot of improvement and incentives for the customers,”  he says.

Mr Muhando plans to expand his business and even have a walk in store, such as the popular Zucchini, which will in turn create employment for more people as his contribution to the country’s economy.

His advises to young people who unfortunately lost their jobs during the pandemic, “look for other jobs or set up your own businesses,  however small”.

“Keep trying, remember quality service is your biggest advertising,” says Mr Muhando.


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Shock after man kills son before taking his own life



Residents of a Naivasha village woke up to rude shock after a middle-aged man killed his three-year-old son before hanging himself on a tree.

The man strangled his son in Kipkonyo Village while the mother was away before committing suicide, plunging the area into mourning.

Tears flowed freely as relatives and friends tried to come to terms with the incident before police moved in to collect the two bodies.

Record statement

The 30-year-old man, after killing his son, threw the body into a latrine under construction before stripping naked and hanging himself.

Naivasha police boss Samuel Waweru confirmed the incident, adding that security officers had collected the two bodies and opened an inquest.

He said they would be seeking the wife who was not present during the incident to record a statement as part of their investigations.

“Initial investigations indicate that the man first killed his son by twisting his neck and dumping the body in the family latrine before using a rope to hang himself,” said the police boss.

A neighbour, Isaac Lang’at, said the deceased had for a long time clashed with his wife leading to a separation before he decided to kill himself.


READ ALSO:   The day Jeremiah Kiereini nearly killed Njee Muturi's father
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Meet young Kenyan lady playing key role in Joe Biden’s presidential campaign



Esther Ongeri, a young Kenyan living in the US is the talk of the town after Kenyans learnt that she plays a key role in the Joe Biden presidential campaign.

According to Biden’s campaign website, Ms Ongeri is the Director of Special Projects in the Biden 2020 campaign and has served in the position since July.

Previously, she worked as the Executive Assistant to the Campaign Manager and Special Projects Coordinator in the same campaign team from June 2019.

Ms Ongeri held the posts of operations coordinator from September 2017 to February 2018 and special projects assistant to the CFO from February 2018.

She is an alumnus of Saint Peter’s University in New Jersey where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in political science and government in 2017.

According to her LinkedIn profile, the brilliant Kenyan was a staff assistant to New Jersey senator Robert Menendez between May 2016 and July 2017.

Ms Ongeri started off as an intern in the office of Senator Menendez between August 2015 to May 2016.

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

She attained her high school diploma at Saint Dominic Academy in 2013 after joining the school in 2009.

In the November 3 US elections, former Vice President Joe Biden is seeking to unseat incumbent president Donald Trump and both are busy on the campaign trail.

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