Former State House Press Secretary Lee Njiru now says that Kenya’s founding father, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s death in Mombasa in 1978 could have been prevented if his close confidants could have worked in unison.
In an interview on JKLive Show on Wednesday, Kenyatta’s then information officer revealed that Minister for State Mbiyu Koinange and Coast Provincial Commissioner Eliud Mahihu neglected their duty to safeguard the first president’s welfare as was their sworn duty.
He said that prior to his death at a function in Msambweni, Koinange and Mahihu had intel that Kenyatta was unwell but did not act upon safeguarding his welfare.
“Eliud Mahihu and Alexander Gitau said they had no powers to stop Mzee from going to Msambweni even though they knew he was sickly and weak…” He stated.
In defence of a post by Mahihu’s daughter Lucy Wambui complaints about Njiru’s narration of Mzee Kenyatta’s last moments at the hands of her father, Njiru maintained that the pair would have salvaged Mzee’s life if they had been a little more persuasive.
“If Jomo Kenyatta expressed the wish to jump into the Indian Ocean, would they not have stopped him?” He posed while responding to Wambui. “There are many ways to stop a president from undertaking such a precarious trip because it was life-threatening.”
Njiru opined that the president’s mandarins would have devised protective ways to bar the head of state from making the trip since their duty is in service to Kenyans and his life was on the line at the time.
“There are many ways to stop a president from undertaking such a precarious trip because it was life-threatening. They could have ganged up, Mahihu, Gitau, provincial police officer Gichuki, even the commander of the Navy, Eliud Mbiru could have cheated Mzee for his own sake, that the ferry at Mtongwe has broken down,” he explained.
He added: “…Who could have known? To save a president’s life you can go to any length, you are supposed to go to any length.”
In regard to the aftermath of the incident during Mzee’s last moments, Njiru who insinuated that they did not make the necessary efforts to ensure he got access to medical care despite the hospitals being nearby.
“Okay let’s say they allowed him to go, when he collapsed, why didn’t they go to the hospital? Pandya Memorial Hospital is just across from the State House Mombasa.”
“Mbiu Koinange, his minister, friend, brother-in-law, left Mzee sickly and took a flight to Nairobi…what was more compelling on the part of Mahihu to leave Mzee in such a state,” Njiru insisted.
He went on to allege that the confidants claimed they had no power to prevent Mzee from travelling even though they made adjustments in performances and entertainment.
“They say they had no capacity to cancel the Msambweni trip, then why on the same day did they cancel the entertainment in the evening?” He noted.