Joe spelt out burial wishes, says family
Joseph Nyagah will be laid to rest tomorrow in his rural home in Mbeere, Embu county.
This is according to family spokesperson and his brother, Norman Nyaga, who yesterday confirmed his elder brother died of Covid-19.
According Norman, the deceased developed health complications, but stayed home for week before being taken to the Nairobi Hospital on November 17, after his condition deteriorated.
The former Cooperatives minister was admitted in Intensive Care Unit for two weeks before being transferred to hospital ward.
He was subjected to another Covid-19 test, which turned out negative.
“After two weeks in ICU, he was tested several times and the results were negative. However, he succumbed on December 11,” said Norman.
Before his death, Joe had issued a raft of wishes to guide his burial in a Will whose contents were disclosed by his family.
Norman says Joe had left a will that he buried next to his grandfather Joseph Nyaga, with his head facing Mbeere Hills because their grandfather hailed from Mbeere. And his body should not be viewed.
According to Norman, Joe had also specified that there was no need to buy him a new suit for final sendoff.
Instead, he said he be buried in an old suit he had identified and which will be ironed by his first-born son, Jeremiah Nyaga.
Speaking in Embu yesterday, Norman pointed out that Joe used to iron his clothes himself.
He said the grandfather used to tell them that whenever they encountered any problem or any danger, they should to run towards Mbeere hills for refuge.
“Babu alikua anatuelezea shida ama hatari yeyote ikitokea huko Mbeere hills ndio tutakimbilia (Grandfather told us if we experienced strife we should seek refuge on Mbeere Hills.),’’ he said.
Norman also indicated that only 1,000 people will be allowed to attend the burial under strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols.
The family has organised a link that will enable people from across the globe to follow the proceedings. A local media house will air the proceedings.
Health officials will be at the burial site to ensure all protocols are observed.
“We will do everything it takes to ensure nobody contracts Covid-19 during the burial. Everybody will be sanitised. We have also installed hand-washing facilities,” said Norman.
Joe was born in 1948 in Mbeere region of Embu County.
He was the first-born son of independence Cabinet minister Jeremiah Nyagah.
He burst into the limelight in the run up to 1997 General Election when he contested the Gachoka parliamentary seat following a family pact that saw the incumbent and his younger brother, Norman, move to Nairobi to seek the Kamukunji seat to avoid sibling rivalry.