It felt like God had come down, man says of moment with Uhuru
It is Sunday afternoon at the home of Mzee Zablon Mukiira in Nkabune, Meru County.
The man cannot keep clam, he just met the most powerful man in Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta.
His phone, probably in a long time, can’t cope with the many calls as it keeps ringing every minute with relatives, friends and those he has never met call to get a view of how it feels meeting the President.
Mr Mukiira, now known as President Kenyatta’s fan, came into the limelight following his plans to sell his property — land and livestock — to campaign for the re-election of President Kenyatta.
On Friday evening, Mr Mukiira, a 78-year-old Mau Mau veteran, shared a table with the President’s campaign financiers and addressed the high and mighty during an invitation-only dinner at Nairobi’s Safari Park Hotel.
His efforts and passion were honoured at the event, where at least Sh1 billion is said to have been raised within hours.
Having been convinced not to sell his property, Mr Mukiira is now waiting for the President to oil his campaign against the National Super Alliance (Nasa) in Meru, Isiolo and Tharaka-Nithi counties.
When the Nation visited him at his home, perched on the edges of Ikuu hill, he was still wearing the suit that he wore to the President’s campaign fundraising dinner.
He was yet to get over the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to greet and hug the President before taking to the podium in front of before the rich and powerful, who paid attention to what he had to say.
His wife, Esther, is still in awe of her husband, who she thought was going to be incarcerated after the area chief and a police officer picked him up at their home on Thursday evening.
Zablon Mukiira with his wife Esther on June 11, 2017 at their home in Meru County. PHOTO | DAVID MUCHUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP
She had earlier thought her husband had gone crazy when he insisted on selling their only possessions.
“After my story was published in the Nation, I received a call from my chief asking for my ID number.
“I was later picked by the assistant chief and a police officer, who took me to the deputy county commissioner. I was interrogated and then asked to prepare myself to meet the President on Friday,” Mr Mukiira recounted.
He adds: “The DCC inquired whether I owned a good suit. He sent the police officer and the assistant chief to my home to find out if I had a good suit.
“I showed them all my clothes and they picked two suits before advising me on which one to wear while meeting the President.”
Besides his two pairs of suits, the DO who accompanied him to Nairobi bought him a new suit in Embu and advised him to wear it for the dinner.
The Jubilee supporter pleasantly narratesd how he was booked into the hotel and served a sumptuous lunch before a long wait for the President.
“The President arrived at around 9pm and there were about 500 people in the hall. After he had settled down, he was told that his supporter from Meru was in the house.
“I was called forward. I greeted him and we hugged; I felt like God had come down,” Mr Mukiira said.
When he was given a chance to speak, the old man recounted the reason for his radical decision before issuing a list of requests to the President.
Top on the list was his jobless son and the Nkabune assistant chief, who he said has not been promoted despite serving in an acting capacity for ages.
“I am now waiting for feedback from the President because I was asked not to sell my bull, sheep and plot. If they don’t want me to sell my property, they should give me the money to start the campaign,” he said.
Zablon Mukiira feeds one of his animals at his home on June 11, 2017. PHOTO | DAVID MUCHUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP
If funded, Mr Mukiira said he will hire a vehicle, a public address system and an emcee with whom he will traverse Meru, Isiolo and Tharaka-Nithi to drum up support for Mr Kenyatta.
He said that under the Jubilee administration, he has received a monthly stipend and free medical care through the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).
“I want Mr Kenyatta re-elected so that he can continue this good work. I realised Nasa was a threat when I attended a meeting in Kiburine in Imenti North last month.
“That is when I resolved to go out and change the minds of the opposition supporters,” he remarked.
Mr Mukiira has also been promised Sh100,000 by Meru Jubilee gubernatorial candidate Kiraitu Murungi.
Senator Kiraitu said he would fund Mr Mukiira because he was advancing the Jubilee Party’s agenda in the region.
In the meantime, the Mau Mau veteran has to contend with inquiries from villagers, who believe he left Nairobi with a huge amount of money from the President.