THE burial of former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga,’ wife that was to be attended by Cord leader Raila Odinga today has been put on hold again.
Citing security concerns, Njenga said Wairimu Nyambere will be buried on a date to be announced later.
This is the second time Wairimu’s burial has been postponed since she was killed on May 24.
Njenga made the announcement yesterday after he attended a regional security meeting at Athi River in Machakos county.
He was invited to the meeting by Athi River deputy county commissioner Kodhek Makori and Athi River OCPD Mutoro Kizito.
Njenga arrived in Mavoko at 10.45am and was immediately ushered into the meeting as members of the press were ejected.
An hour later the security officials emerged and briefed journalists.
Makori said they had a “fruitful” discussion with Njenga.
“We have reach a consensus over the burial of his people. We all agreed that the burial be put off indefinitely until we have resolved the issues that the local Maasai communities have raised,” he said.
Makori said the government’s position is that the burial be put off until Njenga talks to his neighbours and they agree on the way forward.
As soon as the deputy county commissioner announced the postponement, all General Service Unit and officers guarding Njenga’s Kitengela farm and its environs were withdrawn.
Local police officers and APs from Athi River remained.
Njenga said he had accepted to delay his wife’s funeral because he loves peace.
“I will now engage my neighbours in roundtable talks so that we can reach an agreement. I also want to know why they chose to take their current stance,” he said.
Njenga’s neighbours, the local communities in Nkurrunka, opposed the burial of his wife and other three people killed in a gun attack last month in Laikipia because they believe they were Mungiki sect members.
Several local leaders including political activist David Parseina had told the government to stop the burial or else face a revolt from the Maasai communities.
On Thursday, hundreds of morans slaughtered goats near Njenga’s home and met with top security officials from Kajiado led by Harsama Kello.
The morans said allowing Njenga to bury the four people would be calling for bloodshed in Kitengela.
Yesterday Njenga accused Kajiado security officials from Kajiado for agreeing to sit with armed men who were threatening the security of other Kenyans.
“How can a whole county commissioner sit and eat meat with armed morans bent on threatening the security of others?” Njenga said.
He was speaking at his farm where more than 500 people were engaged in various duties from digging graves to putting up tents for the planned ceremony. Wairimu’s grave was almost complete and is being dug next to Njenga that of his previous wife Virginia Nyakio who was buried in 2000.
Several bulls had been slaughtered at Njenga’s farm at the time he broke the news of the decision to block the burial.
Making the announcement at his farm, Njenga said Kenya is greater than any individual and that is why he decided to put the burial on hold.
“We have just come out of the Mpeketoni saga and I do not want more innocent blood to be shed because of the stand other people take. I want peace and that is why I have agreed to tone down my resolve to bury my wife,” said Njenga amid cheers from a section of the mourners.
He said those involved in the burial arrangements will sit and feast on his farm until he reaches a solution with his neighbours.
“I will tomorrow set up a committee of elders to go and meet with my neighbours so that we can get out of this fiasco immediately,” said Njenga.
Earlier, Makori had said police will continue providing security in the area until the issue is resolved.