Why Dedan Kimathi family has rejected this Subaru
By BONIFACE MWANGI
The government has taken away a car that former president Mwai Kibaki gave to widow of renowned freedom fighter Dedan Kimathi.
Nyandarua County deputy county commissioner Amos Marimba instead issued Kimathi’s wife, Elose Kimathi a navy-blue station Wagon Subaru Outback with a GK number plate (GKB 701J) which was handed to her on Wednesday at her home in Njabini.
According to Mr Marimba, the government also deployed a permanent driver for the late field Marshal’s aging wife and took away the Toyota Hilux, double cabin (KBU 754)
But according to Ms Evelyn Wanjogu, a daughter to Kimathi, although her family had requested President Uhuru Kenyatta to provide them with a new car, they were anticipating to receive a similar one with the same load capacity but not lesser than this.
She also says a GK vehicle will hinder their mobility as they will be required to produce work tickets when traveling. Government vehicles have to have the tickets and are regularly checked at roadblocks to avoid misuse.
“After attending the Jamhuri Day celebrations last year, we headed to State House where my mother requested Mr Uhuru to provide her with a new car since her’s was experiencing frequent mechanical problems. The President asked his aid to slot a meeting with my mother the following week, a thing that has never taken place since then,” said Ms Wanjogu.
The car is currently grounded outside the DDC’s office awaiting to be taken to Nairobi for repair as explained by Mr Marimba.
“This is a gift that we were offered by former President Kibaki after our mother pleaded for one for more than 40 years in vain. At the same time, ours was registered as a private car, now how comes we are being served with another one that bears the government’s number plate?” she queried.
She said their earlier vehicle gave them a lot of service since it was registered under their Mukami Kimathi Foundation, a charity organization that deals with orphans, widows, disables and the elderly.
“Since it was a pick-up, we used it to ferry donations and other requirements that we took to our targets but with the current car, we will be forced to hire another pick-up for the same. This will cost us a lot,” she said.
However, the DDC said when they took the new car to Ms Kimathi, she was so excited and received it with a lot of blessings.
Mr Marimba said he was shocked to receive calls from his friends who told him that Ms Wanjogu had posted ‘funny’ comments and post on social media.
“We did not take away Ms Kimathi’s old car, what we did is to help her since she was ‘crying a lot that her car was experiencing frequent mechanical problems and the money needed to repair it was far much beyond her reach,” he said.
Mr Marimba said the old car had a problem with the alternator and the fuel pump but the government had volunteered to take it to Nairobi for repair and then have it returned to her.
At the same time, the DDC accused Ms Wanjogu of spreading lies and said they have established that she had taken advantage of her aging mother and registered it under her name and even taken a loan with it.
“The reason she doesn’t want us to take the vehicle for repair is because she has registered it under her name and has taken a personal loan with it. If her mother has agreed to take the new car for some while, we don’t care about the rest,” said Mr Marimba.
However, in her response, Ms Wanjogu acknowledged that they took a bank loan of Sh470,000 with the vehicle as Mukami Kimathi Foundation last year so that her mother could start a firewood business and pay rent for their offices at Embassy House.
“We needed money badly as a foundation but whatever Mr Marimba is saying are lies,” said Ms Wanjogu.
The grey metallic Toyota double cabin vehicle was handed to Ms Kimathi in December, 18, 2013 at the Dedan Kimathi Grounds in Nyeri during the Kimathi’s memorial celebrations.