In Summary
  • Mr Musyoka confirmed that his father had been ailing for a while and died while receiving treatment at Nairobi Hospital.
  • According to Mr Musyoka’s memoirs, it took his father Musyoka Mairu, who died at Nairobi Hospital on Sunday morning aged 94.
  • The Wiper party leader narrates that before entering the 1985 race, he had to obtain his parents’ nod and though his father agreed, he still could not run without his mother’s consent.

Some weeks to the April 1985 by-election that saw Kalonzo Musyoka elected to Parliament, his family was sharply divided over his candidacy.

Mr Musyoka desperately needed his parents’ blessings to run for the Kitui North parliamentary seat, but his mother Malia Musyoka (now late) would hear none of it.

His mother thought that their only son, aged 31 years at the time, who was still a bachelor and struggling to start life after university was deviating into a risky venture.

Malia’s reason for worrying was valid — the immediate former MP Philip Manandu, who happened to be her cousin, had been shot dead by a policeman and she feared a similar fate could befall his son.

The mother was also sceptical about the chances of her son winning the election because two years earlier, Mr Musyoka had been beaten hands down by Mr Manandu during the 1983 general elections, where he came a poor distant fourth.

POLITICS

“Philip has been killed in this thing you are calling politics. I don’t think I’ll allow you to go there and die,” she flatly told her son during an evening family meeting while dismissing his political ambitions.

According to Mr Musyoka’s memoirs, Against All Odds, it took his father Musyoka Mairu, who died at Nairobi Hospital on Sunday morning aged 94, an entire night to convince his wife Malia to allow her son to run for the vacant seat.

“We argued with her late into the night. The following morning she agreed to bless me saying, even if you die at it you have my blessings and support. I have withdrawn all the harsh words uttered against your decision,” Mr Musyoka writes.

The book aptly captures the big role Mr Musyoka’s father played in endorsing his son to contest that first election, which launched a colourful political career that saw him rise to become Kenya’s vice-president.

AMBITIOUS SON

The old man hoped that his ambitious son — who had graduated from law school — had the potential to rise to become a national leader who could liberate his people from poverty and earn global fame.

The Wiper party leader narrates that before entering the 1985 race, he had to obtain his parents’ nod and though his father agreed, he still could not run without his mother’s consent.

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