Celebrated lawyer and Senator Mutula Kilonzo will be laid to rest today in a ceremony expected to draw thousands to his Makueni birthplace.

But the drama and controversy sparked by his sudden death 11 days ago will persist after a young woman, Eunice Nthenya filed a paternity suit in Nairobi where family and friends were gathered for Mutula’s requiem.

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On Wednesday , political differences were shoved aside as Jubilee and CORD leaders attended the service for the late Senior Counsel at the Nairobi Baptist Church.

The funeral service will be held at Kima Secondary School today before Mutula is buried at his ancestral home in Mbooni.

Only invited guests will be allowed into the home as it can only accommodate about 500 people.

Present at Wednesday’s requiem for Mutula was Deputy President William Ruto and Senators and MPs from both Jubilee and CORD. All agreed that Mutula was multi-talented, unique and accomplished in equal measure.

Also present were the top leadership of the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and ex-Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.

The Makueni Senator will be buried in his Mbooni home at a function to be attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Raila and Kalonzo noted that Mutula was a strong pillar of the alliance and a key advisor.

“As a movement we have lost a great leader. He metamorphosed into a rightist, debater and committed leader who could not be compromised when it came to issues of the law,” said Raila of Mutula.

The former Premier urged Kenyans to desist from speculating over what might have killed the late Senator and allow investigators to do their work.

“Lets not engage in endless speculation. That is irresponsible. Let investigators dig into the root cause of Kilonzo’s death,” he stressed.

“We will leave no stone unturned until we know what really killed Kilonzo. I hope that those probing the incident will tell Kenyans the truth,” he said.

Musyoka warned against “rumours” going around about the death of Mutula.

“It’s unlike me, but I broke down after getting the disturbing news of Kilonzo’s demise. I can’t figure it out still. What is going on in this country,” wondered the former VP.

He said the Wiper Democratic Party had lost a great leader.

“The party in which Kilonzo was the Secretary-General, enjoyed immense advice and direction from him,” he said, adding that Mutula Kilonzo vowed to ensure devolution becomes a reality.

“He had set aside some legislation on devolution to empower the 47 counties, “ disclosed Musyoka.

During the requiem, all leaders eulogised the late Mutula as a great leader and brilliant lawyer, while others, including Raila and Ruto called for patience among Kenyans as investigations unravel the cause of his death.

President Kibaki praised Mutula’s family for their “courage during this difficult time” adding jokingly that the excellent public speaking skills of the late Senator’s children suited them for political life, should they choose to take that road.

Others urged the Government to unravel the mystery behind Mutula’s sudden death as they await the results of the autopsy carried out by experienced pathologists last week.

Speaker after speaker recounted their special moments with and memories of Mutula, and acknowledged that Kenya has lost a brilliant legal mind at a very crucial moment in history.

Mutula’s family had nothing but words of praise and love for their father with his wife Nduku moving the mourners with a frank and heartwarming account of her life with Mutula, stating that he was a loving man.

“He was always proud of himself, his children and me. In fact throughout the marriage I never went to any shop to buy jewelry,” she said.

Nduku said Mutula called her “honey” and swamped her with gifts.

“He bought everything for me because he loved beautiful things.”

Despite his busy schedule, Nduku noted that the late Senator always had time for his family.

“Mutula was a very busy man. He used to wake up at 3am to meditate before taking a shower in darkness,” she remembered.

Mutula Kilonzo Junior acknowledged that his father was a great contrast to other parents because he insisted on giving them all the freedom to make independent decisions.

“He was the symbol of authority in our home,” said Junior.

“Every morning as I drove to our office at Mutula and Co. Advocates along Ngong Road, I was constantly reminded of his presence because he had a specific parking and was an early riser.

“No matter how many condolence cards or calls we get, we cannot replace Mutula Kilonzo in one life,” he said and challenged leaders to soul- search if indeed despite the tremendous love, care and affection he accorded them, they reciprocated.

“How many felt the love, or called or sent him a text when he was alive?” he questioned, and continued: “I leave this question for everyone to ponder about.”

Kibaki caused laughter when he publicly admitted that Mutula really brought up his children well, judging by the way they conducted themselves.

“I am grateful to have been associated with Kilonzo. He was a genuine and close personal friend and I am more delighted with the eloquence of his children,” he said.

He jokingly hinted that one of the children might follow their father into politics. The retired President caused laughter when he said that although he did not want to talk politics at the service, “people talk politics all the time, even those of us who are about to leave it”.

He added: “I admire him (Kilonzo). The children speak freely,” he added.

Deputy President William Ruto emphasized the Government’s commitment to ensure the former Education minister gets a fitting burial today.

He also assured the family and the nation that investigations would put to rest the cause of the late Senator’s sudden death.

“We are going to ensure Kilonzo gets a befitting and deserving send-off devoid of any speculations,” he stressed.

“The final rites of our departed colleague will be conducted in a deserving a manner with every bit of respect,” noted Ruto.

Former President Moi, Speakers Justin Muturi (National Assembly) and Ekwe Ethuro (Senate) were among hundreds of Kenyans who attended the requiem.

On Monday evening, more than Sh13m was raised towards meeting the funeral expenses of Mr Kilonzo.

The Makueni Senator died on April 27 at his Maanzoni ranch.

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