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Man who carried Kibaki on cart requests to attend burial

Abung'ana says he would be at peace if he could be allowed to pay his last respects to the fallen hero

Story Highlights
  • Abung'ana also known as 'Mzee Punda' remembers Kibaki as a humble but firm leader who could not easily be swayed.
  • Abung'ana, a father of 14,  remembers the late Kibaki as a humble but firm leader who could not easily be swayed and who was development conscious.

John Abung’ana also known as ‘Mzee Punda’ wants to be on the list of those that will attend the state burial of former President Mwai Kibaki.

Kibaki died last Friday and burial is slated for Saturday.

Abung’ana, from Kakamega, wants to pay his last respects to a leader he has held in very high esteem since he carried him and other leaders on his donkey cart in 2002.

Kibaki, who was then Narc presidential flag bearer, was campaigning in Western province in the company of Michael Wamalwa, Charity Ngilu and Boni Khalwale, among other opposition leaders.

“It was a great honour for me to ferry someone who would emerge the winner to become the president,” Abung’ana, who hails from Shiswa village in Shinyalu constituency, said.

A newspaper cutting shows John Abung’ana and his son lead the donkeys as the Narc leaders, including Mwai Kibaki and Michael Wamalwa ride on the donkey cart during the campaigns in Kakamega in 2002

Then, it was widely believed that voters would reject many of those who came campaigning in big automobiles and choppers to endear themselves with those who came down to their level.

Abung’ana, a father of 14,  remembers the late Kibaki as a humble but firm leader who could not easily be swayed and who was development conscious.

He, however, said since the time of the Narc campaigns, he had made frantic efforts to meet Kibaki when he took up the leadership of the country, but all was in vain.

The 68-old-man further said his heart would only be at peace if he could be allowed to pay his last respect to the fallen hero.

“I would just request the government to help me attend his burial,” he said.

The peasant farmer, who also does casual jobs, said he has more than seven children who are still in school, and that he was in dire need of help to see them through their education.

John Abung’ana also known as ‘Mzee Punda’ speaks to the press at his home in Shiswa village in Shinyalu, Kakamega county

“I wish those remaining leaders of the defunct Narc outfit could remember my input in their campaigns and at least return the favour,” he said.

He said his donkey, which was his main source of income, has since passed on, and getting another one is a very expensive affair.

“Donkeys are expensive here. You can only get a good one at Sh30,000, which I cannot afford,” he said.

Via
The Star
Source
Calistus Luchetu

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