Obituary

Justus Murunga: MP loved lodgings, big cars… but kids schooled on CDF bursary

The late chain smoking Embakasi MP Muhuri Muchiri had palatial homes, but preferred sleeping in backyard bar rooms

The secret adversary: Justus Murunga, the MP for Matungu Constituency, could not get oxygen in any hospital in Makunda, Kakamega County. He collapsed and died at his rural home. His first born daughter never went past secondary school. Maternal blood relations raised fee for tailoring her course.

By Undercover Reporter

He preferred sleeping in lodgings, didn’t care much about dressing, but had no qualms exchanging Land Cruisers thrice in a year. When he was happy, the belly laugh came from deep down his 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 62.

Murunga’s perennial absence from home started when he won the Matungu Parliamentary seat in 2017

The dead man’s folly: Justus Murunga’s body arrives at Lee Funeral Home, Nairobi. But Agnes Wangui, his mpango, has gone to court demanding a paternity test for their two children. Through lawyer Danstan Omari, Wangui says he met Murunga when he was a supervisor at Embakasi Ranching and she was vending snacks and beverages in Ruai in 2013. Wangui’s rent and maintenance was paid by Murunga through mobile money transfers. Before his death, he sent her Sh1,300 to refill gas and Sh4, 000 for her upkeep.

He was survived by his two wives, Christabel and Grace and eight children. But a third woman, Agnes Wangui, has crawled from the woodworks to stop the burial until a test is done to prove paternity of their two children.

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

Dumb witness: Murunga’s children sometimes walked into the pubs in Utawala to say hallo to daddy they had not seen for months. They would walk out with Sh500 leaving him continuing with his bar banter with his friends, slay queens included.

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

Middle of the muddle: Christable Murunga (centre), the widow, has demanded that Agnes Wangui, her hubby’s mpango wa kando deposit Sh10 million as security for stopping the burial. They also want her to bear the cost of DNA analysis.

  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

Peril at End House: 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 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

Cards on the table: Mbiyu Koinange (left), the late President Daniel arap Moi, founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and Finance Minister James Gichuru. Koinange, Minister of State in the Office of the President, postponed his daughter’s wedding a dozen times before he finally got time off s busy schedule.

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’

The secret of chimneys: The late Embakasi MP Muhuri Muchiri (left) owned a club nicknamed ‘Studio 45’ in whose weather-beaten backrooms he died in 2006-like a hustler.

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.”

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