Why MZEE JOMO KENYATTA’s funeral plans started 10 years before his DEATH

...McKenzie, Njonjo , Moi , Mungai and Colonel Anderson, the Chief of Staff at Defence Headquaters Nairobi, still went ahead with plans for his future funeral.

Both the casket and the depositum plate were made in advance when Mzee was still alive and hidden in London.

A firm which was contracted to design the depositum plate had been instructed to partially engrave it and leave out date of death which was to be added on the day of the president's death.

It was also agreed that a protective vault be inserted in his grave to protect the casket from rain seepage, termites and other underground conditions and also for future display after burial


The funeral director in London was given the option of choosing between an American vault similar to the one used in John F Kennedy's burial or a fiberglass vault used in European countries.

After the selection and purchase of a suitable vault, it was to be packed in a crate disguised as spare parts by being marked "M.T SPARES " and then sent to Kenya Army barracks Kahawa where it would be kept until Mzee's death.

Mzee eventually died in August 1978, the Queen was represented by prince Charles while America sent its first biggest delegation to Africa for the funeral.

By Levin Opiyo (London School of Journalism)

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