The family of Thika’s longest serving mayor Douglas Mundia who died a week ago has come out strongly to defend his controversial burial.

This is after it emerged that he was hurriedly and secretly buried to diffuse drama.

Speculations were ripe at the town as residents raised eyebrows at how a mayor of 20 years whose legacy in Thika town lived on could be buried only by the nuclear family.

Residents and burial committees were left in limbo on learning that the man for whose sendoff they have been contributing and holding daily burial preparations was long buried.

Through their spokesperson Isaac Munene, the family said they followed their father’s wish of a private burial.

Mundia, 88, was buried at his rural home in Kang’oo village, Gatundu North Sub County on Monday four days after his demise.

Munene said they would now hold a memorial service on Friday, February 28, at Thika stadium.

“We are not hiding anything as the burial was held in broad day light for all. Prior to Mzee’s death, he called family members and expressed his wish for his body not to be preserved at a mortuary. We agreed to honour his wish and buried him on the fourth day of his demise,” he said.

He said his father’s four wives participated in the burial ceremony presided over by a pastor.

Mundia was the longest serving Thika mayor under the KANU regime.

He will be remembered for steering Thika town to winning a world medal as the cleanest town in East and Central Africa.