BLAME THE LEADERS

Mutua pledges to repair neglected Tom Mboya and Dedan Kimathi statues

Governor takes a swipe at the government for failing to maintain monuments of national heroes

In Summary

• Governor compared the state of the statues to a sickly, starving child in a dirty diaper.

• He urged Kenyans to ignore leaders campaigning for 2022 instead of working for the people.

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua next to Tom Mboya's statue on Tuesday.
HEROES: Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua next to Tom Mboya's statue on Tuesday.
Image: COURTESY

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua has promised to repair and maintain the statues of Kenyan heroes Dedan Kimathi and Tom Mboya which are in a sorry state.

"I'm disgusted by the shameful state of neglect and disrepair of the statues. I will personally repair and maintain them as long as it takes until the concerned wake up from their slumber," Mutua said.

The governor compared the state of the statues to a child being sickly, starving, with a dirty diaper and in an uncomfortable environment.

The governor took a swipe at the government for neglecting national monuments. He spoke on Tuesday in Nairobi at the statues on Tom Mboya and Kimathi streets. 

Freedom fighter Kimathi was executed at Kamiti Maximum Prison on February 18, 1957. Colonialists buried him in an unmarked grave.

Mboya was shot dead by Nahashon Njoroge on July 5, 1969, as he left a drugs store a few metres from where his monument stands.

A team from Kenyatta University made Kimathi's statue, which was unveiled on February 18, 2007. Award-winning artist Oshottoe Ondula made Mboya's stature which was unveiled on October 19, 2011.

Tom Mboya's monument cost the government Sh20 million while Dedan Kimathi's cost Sh4.5 million.

"One of the hallmarks of Third World governments is a state of disrepair, inefficiency and general apathy due to focus on self-enrichment and acquisition of power rather than service by leaders," Mutua, who is eyeing the presidency in 2022, said

As the government spokesman in Mwai Kibaki's presidency, Mutia was involved in drafting the policy for the construction of the statues with head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura. 

The governor said the state of the statues is an embarrassment to the President and his government.

"Surely, we do not expect President Uhuru Kenyatta to personally visit, clean and repair Tom Mboya‘s or Dedan Kimathi’s statues. His people are letting him down and heads should roll," he said. 

He faulted politicians for involving themselves in propaganda and political activities for higher office. 

"Instead of its [statue] parents tending to the child, they are busy campaigning and agitating for a bigger house as their child dies slowly. They are more concerned with elections three years away than the state of our youth, women and government services," he said. 

"When you visit developed nations, you will find that statues of heroes, public squares and parks are well maintained. The private sector in these countries emulate their governments in maintaining the monuments; not so in Kenya," he said.

The neglect of buildings, airports, and parks, according to the governor, points to neglect in the provision of services, resulting in Kenya being a poor nation. 

"In Kenya and other poor nations, we build and forget. It is indicative of the state of mind, culturalisation, and state of civilisation of those concerned. You can wear a suit but if your environment is dirty, you are fake and also dirty." 

Mutua said statues, parks, stadiums, and offices in his county are well taken care of and maintained.

The governor told Kenyans to shun leaders busy demanding positions of power after 2022 and currently unable to take care of business that affects them. 

"That is why we need a wind of change come 2022. Kenyans deserve better." 

(Edited by P. Wanambisi)