Ordinary Likoni residents turned in their hundreds to bury their elderly leader Mwalimu Masoud Mwahima who passed on Monday night August 24, 2020 aged 78.
Those who thronged his residence at Vyemani home on August 25 to bury him were welcomed by his down-to-earth humbling in contrast of Kenya’s Waheshimiwa’s ultra-high voltage fences remote-controlled by electric gates, sentry armed to teeth with baying canines ensuring no intruders make an attempt.
But for the Shika Adabu Ward councillor, deputy-Mayor-and-Mayor of Mombasa, and Likoni MP from 2007-2017 his residence of Swahili-houses tinged with modernity is buttressed by other Swahili-houses on every sides opening several vichochoro (alleys) for accessibility.
This is the scenario encountered as I made my way to his residence at 12.45 pm cutting through a sea of leso-clad mourning women scattered in all the entry points on the Tuesday’s burial.
Save for Mombasa Senator Mwinyihaji Faki the rest ordinary people who came to eulogise the ex-MP who throughout his political life lived among them as a pillar for dealing with their ups and downs without egoistic tendencies.
As aptly put by President Kenyatta: “Mzee Mwahima was an approachable, witty and visionary elder and leader who offered wise counsel and outstanding service to the people of Mombasa, especially his Likoni Constituency for decades”.
As a politician, Mzee Mwahima stands at the pedestals of the late Shariff Nassir, Emmanuel Karisa Maitha and Ramadhan Seif Kajembe who champion for community development projects, a trait missing from the current crop of elected leaders in the Coast region.
Purposive sampling of the mourners on the veteran politician’s scorecard indicated that the electorates had made a ‘vital mistake’ to have voted him out in the 2017 general election with regrets that the current area MP lacks the oomph, passion and commitment exhibited by her predecessor.
What came out from those who attended the burial was a leader of great humility, tireless, fearless and tenacious debater whose domination in Likoni’s political scene never withered even after the last elections defeat.
Former and upcoming politicians consulted the grand oldman on different elective positions for the forthcoming 2022 general election with one of his sons who tried his chance for the Likoni Ward MCA seat but lost to Athman Rama Mwamwiri.
As the mammoth crowd thinned before 2 pm from the Vyemani cemetery where he was laid to rest behind his home backyard, one question stood out for answers: who were the ‘real mourners’ or eulogisers out of the multitude?