Ukambani supremacy politics are likely to take centre stage during the burial of former Kibwezi MP Kalembe Ndile at his Mbui Nzau home in Kibwezi West, Makueni County on Friday.
Different political factions have been pulling in different directions during the burial preparations of the former MP. The intrigues on Thursday forced a change of venue from an open field at Mbui Nzau market to his residence in Kivuthini village.
At the home, three tents had been erected as of Thursday morning. Bulldozers roared for the better part of the day levelling the rocky compound while trucks drove in with soil used to flatten the surface.
Harun Ngolanye, the chairperson of the home committee, confirmed that preparations are set, for the event to kick off at 10am.
“All is set for the burial. The compound will only allow 200 attendants due to Covid-19 protocols and that is the instructions we have been given by the security apparatus,” said Ngolanye.
According to Harun, the rest of the mourners will follow the burial proceedings through TV screens put up nearby.
In a twist, the family contradicted the committee chair, insisting that people from all classes were welcome as the deceased associated with all freely.
Kalembe’s elder sister, Mary Jacob, said that all people should be allowed to attend the burial but under strict Covid-19 containment guidelines.
“Kalembe loved all people. Even if it is anything to do with the pandemic the government should allow people to come to the send-off of their own,” said Jacob.
Jacob went on to warn politicians against turning the burial into a political arena.
“Kalembe was hopping from one party to the other. He was in Jubilee Party then moved to Wiper and we can’t associate him with a particular party. He was a man of all that is why we have decided the church to take over,” said Jacob.
Eulogizing Kalembe, former squatters requested to be prioritized at the burial ceremony.
“I have known him for the last 20 years from the time he was burning charcoal and hawking vegetables. He fought for our rights while we were landless and therefore, we can’t be denied entry. Let there be a certain laid down protocols for Kalembe’s neighbours to be allowed to bury him,” said Patricia Katama, a neighbour.
Dignitaries who are expected to attend the burial include, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu, among others.