The late chain smoking Embakasi MP Muhuri Muchiri had palatial homes, but preferred sleeping in backyard bar rooms
By Undercover Reporter
He preferred sleeping in lodgings, didn’t care much about dressing, but had no qualms exchanging Land Cruisers thrice a year. When he was happy, the belly laugh came from deep down his Luhya diaphragm, but when he was angry, his deep voice sounded like a thunder clap inside a quinine bottle.
Justus Murunga, the late MP for Matungu Constituency, could not get oxygen in any hospital in Makunda, Kakamega County. He collapsed and died complaining of chest pains at his rural home. He suffered diabetes and hypertension but the vagaries of Miss Rona proved a deadly adversary. The first time mheshimiwa who had contested but failed thrice, was 60.
Murunga’s perennial absence from home started when he won the Matungu Parliamentary seat in 2017
He was survived by his two wives, Christabel and Grace and eight children. But a third woman, Agnes Wangui, crawled woodworks to stop the burial until a test is done to prove paternity of their two children.
Wangui, whom Murunga had rented a three bedroom house in Ruai recalled that friends had nicknamed her ‘Wamubunge’ (MPs chick) but their affair began nosing south when Murunga won the Matungu Parliamentary seat in 2017.
He denied her his ID to procure their kid’s birth certificates and never wanted to be identified with her and the children in public. Murunga’s perennial absence was also extended to his other homes, including his other which lived in Utawala off Nairobi’s Eastern Bypass.
His only son graduated from a driving school and on to working in a gym
But most times they saw him on television. Like during the televised swearing inside Parliament in 2017. When the children went shopping, they would most times spot their dad’s car around the parking lot of two lodgings around Utawala. It cost Sh700 or Sh1000 on either. But when his daughter joined Kianderi Secondary School in Murang’a in January 2018, her fee was paid from the CDF bursary kitty.
The third born pursued a cabin crew course funded by the mother
His first born daughter never went past secondary school. Maternal blood relations raised fee for tailoring her course. His only son graduated from a driving school and on to working in a gym. The third born pursued a cabin crew course funded by the mother. But the daughter suffered a kidney ailment needing dialysis. One hospital bill came to Sh18,000. Murunga, according to a relative privy to family drama, sent Sh1,500.
They knew him as Mr Moneybags. But in Utawala, his unfinished three-bedroom home experienced floods
Murunga rode on the back of his skill as a grassroots mobilizer adept at working crowds in mother tongue. They knew him as Mr Moneybags in Shags. But in Utawala, his unfinished three-bedroom home experienced floods his children had to wade, knee deep to move around.
Murunga is not the first Kenyan politician to sleep in lodgings or not have enough time for his family
Murunga is not the first Kenyan politician to sleep in lodgings or not have enough time for his family. Before him was Minister of State in the Office of the President, Mbiyu Koinange. His daughter postponed her wedding a dozen times before her dad finally got time off founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s busy schedule.
Murunga’s body was flown to Lee Funeral Home in Nairobi so that ‘his colleagues could mourn him’
Then there was the late Embakasi MP Muhuri Muchiri, founder of Embakasi Ranching Company. Though this chain smoker owned palatial homes, he preferred sleeping in the back rooms of his bars. One was the Capital Bar along Tom Mboya street, Nairobi. Muchiri also once owned the Gaylord Hotel along Ngong Road in the hood of Coptic hospital. Muchiri preferred a room at Gaylord instead of his home nestled inside 100 acres in Riara, next to politician Kenneth Matiba’s home!
Muchiri also owned a club nicknamed ‘Studio 45’ in whose weather-beaten backrooms he died in 2006-like a hustler.
Justus Murunga Makokha’s body was flown to Lee Funeral Home in Nairobi so that “his colleagues could mourn him.” He will be buried in his rural home in Matungu on December 5.