Musaite Ole Tunta, the man who discovered the body of powerful Jomo Kenyatta-era politician Josiah Mwangi Kariuki popularly referred to as JM Kariuki, has been laid to rest at his Kajiado home.
At the age of 109 years, Ole Tunta, who was a father of 14, was on Wednesday laid to rest at Olosho Oibor village, Kajiado West sub-county, marking the end of 47 years since he discovered a body he barely knew was of a prominent Kenyan.
Family and friends defied the heavy rains pounding the region on Wednesday, December 27, 2022, to bid goodbye to the elderly man described as a peace ambassador, generous and loving.
Emotions ran high for both Mzee Ole Tunta’s family and JM Kariuki’s family members who attended the burial in large numbers signifying a good relationship the two families have maintained.
Those in attendance eulogized Ole Tunta as a brave man.
JM Kariuki family led by his daughter Jane Kariuki pledged that the family will utilize the 15-acre piece of land donated by the late JM family to set up a community project to benefit locals in the area.
She said that the community project will be significant not only in improving the well-being of locals but also keeping the memory of the late.
“We the family of JM Kariuki are forever grateful to the late for he made us come to reality that our father was no more. Beyond just discovering our father’s body, a journey of friendship between the two families was born. We have interacted and have fond memories between the two families until the demise of our uniting factor, mzee. We are committed to ensure that the bond and love mzee started will continue. He taught us moral values and family values that will forever reward us in our daily living,” Jane Kariuki said.
Jane noted that the emotional torture of coming to terms with their father’s murder was eased by Ole Tunta’s family who have been key in giving them emotional support.
“Ole Tunta is a goose that laid golden eggs for both families. He left us when we least expected but we just pray that God strengthens all of us as we remain united,” she added.
Ole Tunta family spokesperson Julius Tunta, the deceased’s second-born son, stated that while his dad was elderly he left a void in his family who largely depended on him for guidance.
“We used to consult our father on every step we made and our success has largely been pegged on his guidance. His wisdom and everyday prayer for us was a source of strength to us. To many people, our father has rested as he was elderly but to us, he had left us too early, “Julius Tunta said.
The two families hold commemoration prayers annually as a way of bonding.
Ole Tunta, who was in good health and memory, died peacefully at his home on December 19, 2022, in what is believed to be a natural death.
JM Kariuki’s mutilated body was discovered in Ngong forest on March 2, 1975, sparking protest from a section of Kenyans who believed he was assassinated for being a critic of the Kenyatta government.
The Mau Mau detainee was vocal in criticizing how the government was being run seeing him have a strained relationship with first president Jomo Kenyatta whom he had served as his private secretary between 1963 and 1969.
The philanthropic politician was also elected as Nyandarua MP in 1974 and served as an assistant minister for Tourism and Wildlife.