OBITUARY

Ex-MP Kiilu's sweet revenge after Makueni poll defeat

Court awarded the former administrator Sh10 million in damages after he sued a newspaper for defamation

In Summary

The long-serving administrator who was known for his strict observation of rules and passion for water development died on Tuesday at the Nairobi Hospital

Then MPs Peter Kiilu, Philip Kaloki and Daniel Muoki at Parliament Buildings
Then MPs Peter Kiilu, Philip Kaloki and Daniel Muoki at Parliament Buildings
Image: JACK OWUOR

 

While journalists were busy reporting Peter Kiilu's humiliating defeat in the 2013 Makueni parliamentary elections, the former administrator kept quiet and waited for his time to revenge on a newspaper.

Kiilu successfully sued the Citizen Weekly and was awarded Sh10 million in damages for defamation in 2017.

 

The long-serving administrator who was known for his strict observation of rules and passion for water development died on Tuesday at the Nairobi Hospital.

He started out as a District Officer in 1977 before being promoted to a District Commissioner (DC) in 1984. DC is an equivalent of the current deputy county commissioner.

In 1991, Kiilu was appointed Provincial Commissioner by then-President Daniel arap Moi.

He was later appointed deputy secretary in the Public Service Commission where he worked until 2006 before venturing into politics.

He won the Makueni parliamentary seat on an ODM-Kenya ticket in the 2007 General Election, defeating current Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana who was defending his seat on a PNU ticket.

In 2014, as he nursed his loss, Citizen Weekly reported that the former lawmaker who was the chairman of the Board of Governors of Ngoto Boys High School-was using the school bus to run personal errands.

Citing unnamed school insiders, the paper claimed Kiilu was running the school in a dictatorial manner as he had “overextended the dictatorial ways of the Kanu regime to the management of the school.

 

According to the cuttings filed in court, the paper claimed Kiilu had the bus “always parked at his Kindu Mall Hotel in Emali town and that it was being used to ferry water and charcoal for his hotel while students trek for various school activities.

Without proof, the paper also claimed that the former PC had made it a requirement that only close relatives traded with the institution.

An aggrieved Killu –who is known to pursue his fights to the logical conclusion- sued the paper and was awarded Sh10 million in damages.

He convinced the court that he was a well-mannered public servant who was also the chairman of ACK Makueni diocese as well as a politician of good standing. He also claimed that his opponents were waving the paper in political rallies to discredit him as the 2013 elections approached.

He blamed the paper for his loss.

The court ruled that he had suffered “ridicule, odium, hatred and contempt in the eyes of right-thinking members of the society and has suffered grave injury, loss and damage to his reputation.”

The court awarded him Sh7 million in general damages and a further Sh3 million as exemplary and or aggravated damages as the paper did not advance any apology to him.

During his tenure in Parliament, Kiilu had an outstanding passion for water development. The Hansard shows most of his questions and interventions were regarding the supply of water to his constituents in Makueni.

Perhaps this informed his appointment as the chairman of the Water Development Authority by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2013.

In Parliament, Kiilu served as a member of the Joint Committee on Parliamentary Broadcasting and Library (2008 - 2012) and as the vice-chair of the Administration and National Security Committee.

Kiilu attended Maseno School between 1972 and 1973 before joining the University of Nairobi (1974 and 1977).

In a statement on Wednesday, Uhuru eulogised Kiilu as a friendly and seasoned public administrator who "served the nation with distinction."

"We have lost a great leader. May his soul rest in peace," Kibwana said.

 

Edited by P.O