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Citizen Weekly

Sunday 24 August 2014


Controversy has erupted over the manner in which a Kilifi top government official wrote a letter requesting for donations amounting to tune of Sh1.5 million from wellwishers to supposedly meet funeral expenses of renowned Kaya elder Pekeshe Ndeje who passed on recently.

Kilifi deputy governor KM Kamto allegedly wrote a letter dated August 5 2014 urging for help to raise Sh1.5 million for burial expenses of the late Ndeje allegedly without the family’s input or authorisation.

Family sources now say the total budget for the entire process including clearance of medical bills at Coast General Hospital and the burial expenses was Sh300,000 half of which was footed by Mining cabinet secretary Najib Balala who was a close friend of the late Kaya elder.

Mzee Ndeje was laid to rest at his Ruruma village recently in a function attended by Raila Odinga. He had been admitted to Coast General Hospital for several weeks before he died.

And to perhaps shame the deputy governor’s assertions that his move was above board, the family last week gave a breakdown of how donations were received from wellwishers to bury Mzee Ndeje. They said cabinet secretary Balala cleared the medical bill amounting to Sh47,000, paid Sh50,000 for transportation of the body and a further Sh50,000 for coffin.

Kilifi North MP Gedion Mung’aro together with his Kilifi South counterpart Mustafa Iddi gave Sh100,000 to cater for food, public address system and generator. Mung’aro gave a further Sh15,000 for the  mzee’s burial suit.

Kamto’s letter reads thus: “It is with sorrow, that Kilifi county has lost a renown Kaya elder who has not only taken care of the conservation of our Kayas but has also upheld our cultural heritage in the county. Burial rites will be held on Saturday August 9 2014. On top of the hospital bill, we have burial costs standing at a cost of Sh1,500,000”.

And on the day of the burial, Kamto and Kilifi governor Amason Kingi  gave the family of Ndeje Sh400,000 announcing that the cash was their personal donation towards the family’s upkeep. Now questions are being raised as to whether the money was part of the Sh1.5 million raised through the Kamto letter which means the family must be given the Sh1.1 million balance.

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