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Nyeri MCAs free to attend Gachagua’s burial: family

Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) of Nyeri are free to attend the burial of Governor Nderitu Gachagua at his home today, the family has said.

The family has reserved seats for all the 46 politicians who vowed not to attend citing security fears.

By 9am, only eight MCAs who supported the late Governor Gachagua had arrived and taken their seats.

The family’s spokesperson Rigathi Gachagua on Sunday criticised the MCAs explaining that the family was not interested in sideshows.

Cooks prepare food for the about 30, 000 mourners expected during the burial of Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua on March 6, 2017. The cooks were sourced from 20 women and youth groups across central region. PHOTO | GUCHU NDUNGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Cooks prepare food for the about 30, 000 mourners expected during the burial of Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua on March 6, 2017. The cooks were sourced from 20 women and youth groups across central region. PHOTO | GUCHU NDUNGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Mr Rigathi said the Speaker of the County Assembly David Mugo had been included in the list of speakers expected to address the mourners.

The MCAs had said they will travel to Naivasha for the devolution conference.

“As a family we have been very clear that all who wish to give the late governor a befitting send off are welcome without exception,” said Mr Rigathi.

Majority Leader Duncan Gituanja claimed that his colleagues had received death threats from unknown people and that they were warned against attending the funeral.

Governors wait to receive the body of their late colleague Nderitu Gachagua at his home on March 6, 2017. PHOTO |  GRACE GITAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Governors wait to receive the body of their late colleague Nderitu Gachagua at his home on March 6, 2017. PHOTO | GRACE GITAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The security team visited the home on Sunday and held consultations with the family members to assess the ongoing preparations.

Police have assured mourners planning to attend the burial of their safety.

Regional Police Boss Larry Kieng dismissed the MCAs claims of death threats circulating on social media as false.

“We have a very elaborate security plan for that day. It will be safe for everyone attending,” he said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is also expected to attend the burial ceremony at the Mr Gachagua’s Hinga home in Mathira constituency.

The widows of the late governor inside the hearse carrying his body on March 6, 2017. PHOTO | GUCHU NDUNGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The widows of the late governor Nderitu Gachagua seen through the window of a hearse carrying his body on March 6, 2017. PHOTO | GUCHU NDUNGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The mourners will, however, not have an opportunity to view the body of the late governor even as pressure mounted on the family to allow mourners to view it.

“My brother had many supporters but we have ruled out giving them a chance to view his body because of the logistical nightmare involved. They can stand on the roadsides and wave as the hearse makes its way to the home,” said Mr Rigathi.

Mr Gachagua succumbed to pancreatic cancer at Royal Marsden Hospital in London on February 24.

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