The Kenyatta Succession


On the day Mzee Jomo Kenyatta died at Mombasa State House, Coast provincial intelligence officer Bart Kibati received a phone call from the PC Eliud Mahihu. The administrator relayed the sad news to the sleuth and then went ahead to ask him to look for a coffin in which they would transport the head of state’s body to Nairobi. A Kenya Air Force plane was on standby. Kibati, well aware that if he was seen buying a coffin tongues would start wagging, decided to pull a trick out of his cloak and dagger trade’s rule book. He bought not only one but three coffin – including one for a child for a good measure. The retired spy chief reveals in his tell-all biography ‘Memoirs of a Spymaster’ that this was not the first time he was involving himself in subterfuge following a high profile death. Just under a decade earlier he was the provincial director of intelligence when the celebrated Cabinet minister Tom Mboya was assassinated. On the day Mboya’s body was passing through Nakuru, Kibati came up with a hearse decoy.


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