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MPs Paralyse Parliament To Go Bury Suicide Victim; Citizen TV Accords Improper Coverage By Jackal News Team May 23, 2012, 2:20 pm 7 4 ShareThis6 JACKAL NEWS –
Kenyan MPs paralysed parliament Wednesday to attend the funeral service of the son of Finance Minister Njeru Githae, Brian Karanga, who killed himself last week, and in death, received undeserved heroes send off, with Citizen Television suspending its regular programming to relay his funeral.
If Karanga had killed himself in some parts of Uganda, his body would have been lashed severally and buried in some unmarked grave, maybe near Bundibugyo. But the last born of minister Githae, did not; he killed himself in the family home in the plush Runda home in Nairobi. ”Any person who attempts to kill himself is guilty of a misdemeanour,” Kenya’s penal code says.
And in Kirinyaga, hundreds turned up to praise him, without mentioning the motivation behind his decision to kill himself. President Mwai Kibaki mourned the late 26-year-old university student as obedient and honest. Several MPs attended the funeral service, with the owner of Citizen Television, SK Macharia giving an excuse for Prime Minister Raila Odinga that he would have attended the service but was ”tied up with questions in parliament”. Meanwhile, in Nairobi parliament adjourned before time Wednesday morning due to lack of quorum. Thirty MPs form quorum in House sittings.
They were less than that. Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim was forced to adjourn the morning sitting after MP Chachu Ganya raised a quorum alert. The MPs were attending the funeral, with a Citizen TV banner simply just said ”Brian Githae’s Funeral”.
Such coverage is often reserved for state funerals. SK Macharia may have demanded coverage of the function, even when editors may have thought wrong thing to do, especially considering that the late was a nondescript man without national accolades. ”This is an abuse,” a Citizen TV producer texted the Jackal News, referring to the funeral on TV that went on for hours, upsetting scheduled commercials.
Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta read out President Kibaki’s condolence message: ”Brian was an obedient, honest man who was committed to his education. His pre-mature death is a big blow to his family,” Kibaki mourned.
The other deputy prime minister, Musalia Mudavadi, and several Mps and local leaders joined Githae and his family in the service. At the funeral and in newspaper obituary, the family used a portrait of the late when he was a young boy, with friends and family having to view his body inside the casket.