Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo had raised fears over his life 48 hours before he was mysteriously found dead at his Maanzoni home, it has now emerged.
Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama on Tuesday told the Senate that Mr Kilonzo had casually raised issues about his life when they met over lunch together with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga at the Norfolk Hotel on Thursday afternoon.
“He told the former PM that you and all of us here are not safe. Our lives are in danger,” Mr Muthama said.
He said he received news of the senator’s death on Saturday at 11.05am before rushing to his home immediately to find out what had gone wrong.
The Machakos Senator was contributing to an adjournment motion moved by the Leader of Majority Kithure Kindiki to give senators time to pay tribute to their departed colleague.
“We had lunch at the Norfolk hotel with him (Mr Kilonzo), (David) Musila and the PM on Thursday and we had planned to meet again this Thursday,” Mr Muthama said.
He, however, did not divulge the details of the discussion on their security and what the agenda of the meeting they planned to hold on Thursday would have been.
His remarks were, however, dismissed by Nominated Senator Beth Mugo who termed them “largely unfounded”.
“It is not fair for leaders to make inflammatory remarks while mourning a great leader like Mutula. Let us not incite one region against the other. If any life is in danger let us report to the police,” Mrs Mugo said.
While paying tribute to Mr Kilonzo, Siaya Senator James Orengo said he met the Makueni leader at the Senate chambers on Thursday where he looked disturbed and distraught.
Said Mr Orengo: “I met him on Thursday and told him Mr Mutula you have not spoken in the Senate, what is wrong? He looked tired and distraught. He then told me there is nothing to talk about.”
The Siaya Senator further told the House it was strange that in every election, Kenya has to lose great leaders through strange deaths, citing the cases of former MPs George Kapten and Masinde Muliro who also died suddenly and mysteriously.
While paying tribute to the fallen colleague, Minority Leader Moses Wetang’ula urged investigators, police and doctors leading the inquiry into Mr Kilonzo’s death to do a thorough job to allay fears of foul play.
Mr Wetang’ula, who is also the Bungoma Senator, said he learnt a lot from the Makueni leader during his pupillage at his law firm in 1981.
Murang’a Senator Kembi Gitura urged his colleagues not to join the fray of people peddling conspiracy theories surrounding Mr Kolonzo’s death and instead leave investigators to conduct their work to unearth the truth.
Mr Kilonzo’s colleagues eulogised him as a brilliant lawyer, who spoke his mind without fear, and one who transcended ethnic divisions in his work as a politician and Cabinet minister.
Elgeyo Marakwet’s Kipchumba Murkomen said the Makueni Senator’s brilliance inspired them to pursue the law career.
Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi described Mr Kilonzo as a man of all seasons, saying even though he was in the end removed from the Justice ministry, he managed to steer it with a light head and heart.
Speaker Ekwee Ethuro formed a six-member committee to work with other teams in arranging the burial of the Makueni Senator.