Mahia chair Ambrose Rachier, Nairobi Hospital’s Dr Joseph Aluoch and former
Vice President Moody Awori among loaded Masons
By Undercover Reporter
He was a Freemason, one of many in government including Cabinet Ministers, High Court judges, nabobs at the Central Bank of Kenya, eminent doctors, lawyers, pilots, architects and engineers.
Kyale Mwendwa, scion of colonial-era Paramount Chief Mwendwa Kitavi, died at the Aga Khan hospital Nairobi at 94.
Kyale was an ‘Inner Guard’ at the Freemasons Lodge along Nyerere Road in Nairobi as declassified files at the National Archives reveal. Freemasons are a secretive fraternal brotherhood in which only the wealthy and powerful elite are invited for ‘social networking and charity.’
Freemasonry is not a religious sect. It has no high priests. Membership is not for self enrichment. Curiously, members are rarely hustlers. But their closed door rituals and ceremonies have always raised eyebrows.
Founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, an irreligious, self-confessed agnostic, had no clue of the Freemasons in his government- as only a Mason can recognize a fellow Mason anywhere in the world!
Kyale Mwendwa was in good company as Attorney General Charles Njonjo was also a Freemason
Before the Mwendwas faded from public limelight, they were known as a family of many firsts: Kitili Mwendwa, was Kenya’s first African Chief Justice. His wife, Nyiva Mwendwa was Kenya’s first woman Cabinet Minister. She also groomed former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta, then a countrified rural chick after Kenya’s independence in 1963. He taught Mama Ngina which skirts matched with which blouses, how to hold champagne glasses during state banquets. ‘Kwa Nyiva’ is an enclave in Gigiri where her tenants comprise consulates, embassies and UN employees.
‘Brother’ Kyale Mwendwa was named in the letter as the Lodge’s ‘Inner Guard’- a junior officer who guards the Lodge from inside the door
Ngala Mwendwa, Kyale’s elder brother, was in Kenya’s first Cabinet as Minister for Labour and Social Services and owned over 900 acres forming today’s sprawling Githurai area in Nairobi.
Kyale Mwendwa, on the other hand, was Kenya’s first African Director of Education. He later became a Cabinet Minister and MP for Kitui West in 1986, after Kitili, the then MP, died in a road accident the previous year, ocassioning a byelection. Kyale was later defeated by Nyiva Mwendwa during the ridiculous ‘Mlolongo’ voting system of 1988. Besides St Austin’s Academy, Kyale owned priceless parcels including a plot in Upperhill, Nairobi where an acre goes for Sh1billion, the most expensive in East and Central Africa.
Politics and properties aside, Kyale Mwendwa was also an active Freemason.
In Masonic speak, to ‘tyle’ is to ‘guard the door from unqualified, malicious or the curious’
was in good company as Attorney General Charles Njonjo and Mbiyu Koinange,
a powerful Minister of State, were also Freemasons.
letter — now part of declassified papers in Mbiyu Koinange’s file — received on
June 1, 1970 from Murad Kassam, the secretary of the Freemasons, reads in
are summoned to attend the Lodge at Freemasons Hall, Nairobi, on Friday 19,
1970 at 6.30 pm. The Lodge will be tyled up at 6.45 precisely. By command
of the Right Worshipful Master, Brother M. Basheen Chaudry. Dress code:
Dinner jacket and white gloves.”
In Masonic speak, to ‘tyle’ is to ‘guard the door from unqualified, malicious or the curious’. Among the businesses of the day, reads the letter, was to “open the Lodge, read summons covering the meeting and ballot for initiation into Freemasons of Mr Humphrey Rugunda Njoroge, the Assistant Exchange Controller, Central Bank of Kenya.” Rugunda, who was being made an ‘Entered Apprentice’ died in Kanyariri, Kiambu County in 1999.
Justice AB Shah cried like a baby explaining he was bound to help a Masonic Brother! Instead of facing a tribunal, Justice Shah opted to retire
The other agenda was “to take collection in aid of the Lodge and to raise into the sublime Degree of Master Mason” of, among others, a former minister of Health, one of Kenya’s eminent historians and Mbiyu Koinange.
‘Brother’ Kyale Mwendwa was named in the letter as the Lodge’s ‘Inner Guard’- a junior officer who guards the Lodge from inside the door.
One duty of Masons is to help each other. Appellant Judge AB Shah even helped lawyer Virinder Goswami-a fellow Mason – write a replying affidavit in a case in which Justice Shah was determining in 2003.
Kyale Mwendwa was buried at his Matinyani home in Kitui West Constituency.
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