Tuesday, December 7, 2021
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Meet Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s driver who once saved his life, now living in abject poverty

In Summary

  • He once saved the president’s life in Meru when he spotted a shooter on a tree.

From his retirement home in Makima village, Mbeere South, Mr. Wilson Kasiyimi narrates how he went from driving around media people to chauffeuring the country’s first president.

“He had a keen eye and was very punctual,” says the driver to the late former president Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.

Mr. Kasiyimi started off as a driver at the Voice of Kenya (VOK), Kenya’s premiere broadcasting company which he says opened great doors for him. “Mimi ndio nilikuwa nabeba wale watu mnaita media kutoka VOK,” he says.

Wilson Kasiyimi in his younger days. PHOTO/TV47

He landed the job on some sort of good fortune when the founding father, Jomo Kenyatta wanted to go see his land but found his drivers had gone on a lunch break and that is where it all started for him.

At first, he was opposed to the idea saying that the president should not be carried by someone of his calibre.

He faced many challenges as Kenyatta’s driver

Mr. Kasiyimi says that his colleagues, majority of them being security officers, were jealous of him and even went to an extent of plotting to kill him for ‘stealing’ their job. He reported the matter to their seniors and the police.

Mzee Jomo Kenyatta with workers. PHOTO/TV47

So unhappy were Mr. Kasiyimi’s colleagues that they devised ways to ensure he was out of employment.

He also narrates how he rescued the late president when he was attacked by criminals during a rally in Meru County. “We were going to change a malfunctioning speaker when I spotted someone on a tree holding a rifle.”

After seeing the shooter, he went to an officer who dismissed him saying he had just spotted a monkey. He informed another officer who took him seriously and acted on the tip-off, leading to the arrest of the shooter before he could execute his plot.

Life after retirement

Despite interacting with and serving the first president, Mr. Kasiyimi and his family are living in abject poverty.

According to the wife, they do not have a title deed to the land they live on. Since retirement the family has been in problems.


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