- Honouring the wishes of the deceased shows respect and attracts blessings, AIC cleric says.
- Former Kitui North MP Justus Kitonga was cremated on October 29 according to his wishes, and his ashes buried at his rural home in Mwingi.
Families have been urged to respect the wishes of their relatives, including cremation, and accord them the burial rites they had preferred.
Kitui cleric Rev Munyoki Valaani of the Kyamboo AIC Church in Migwani, said honouring the desires of the dead was not only a show of respect but also attracts blessings for bereaved, in this case former Kitui North MP Justus Kitonga aka Katete.
The church leader spoke on Saturday at Kyamboo village in Migwani location of Mwingi West, as he presided over the burial of Kitonga’s ashes. He had been the third MP to represent Kitui North between 1974 and 1979. He died on October 23, at his Nairobi home. He was aged 88.
To honour his wishes, his body was cremated at the Kariakor Hindu crematorium in Nairobi on October 29. He is survived by a daughter Jessica Kaingi and son Jeremiah Kitonga.
His ashes were taken to his rural home in Mwingi for burial.
A nephew of the deceased, Michael Kitonga, told the Star at the sidelines of the burial, that his uncle left a wish that once his body was cremated, the ashes be transported to Kitui for burial.
“My uncle had clearly said the final resting place for his remains should be besides the graves of his father Kitonga Itang’a and his mother, Agnes Mbuthye. “We have granted his wish,” the younger Kitonga said.
The former chairman of the old Mwingi county council, Musyoka Wanzili, was the only Kitui politician who attended the burial. He said MP Charles Nguna was held up elsewhere.
The Rev Valaani sought to justify the MP’s wish to have his remains buried at his Kyamboo village home after cremation, as he drew a parallel case with the remains of the Biblical Joseph.
“Even as the people of Israel left Egypt after years of captivity, Moses ensured he did not leave behind the remains of Joseph so that they could be buried in the land of his people as he had wished,” he said.
The clergyman said it was imperative for people, especially those advanced in age, to make reasonable, practical decisions ahead of their death.
“The elderly, should prepare early and give their wishes including sharing their wealth and land ahead of death, to ward off wrangles once they pass on,” he said.
Kitonga’s agemate and schoolmate Dr Eliud Maluki said death had robbed him of a bosom friend and an exceedingly humble and generous man.
He said when they were in school together in Machakos, he was sent home for an examination fee of Sh100 and nearly missed registration for the exam were it not for the ingenious action by Kitonga.
“Even as a student, Kitonga managed to mobilise fellow students raise Sh60 for my examination fee when I was away.
“When he delivered the money to the head teacher, the latter asked teachers to top up the Sh40 balance. In that way, examination fees were paid and I was registered for the test in London, UK,” Maluki told the mourners.
He said during their school until their university days in America in the 1960s, they drew closer and they developed an undying friendship.