The family is among the most wealthy families in Kitui County. Should the family utilize these resources well, then chances of a major political comeback are real.
A LONE RANGER ?
Like him or hate him, Kitili Mwendwa was an enigma.He was the stuff that legends are made of.
The man never touched alcohol, but he was endowed with a brain that could rival the modern day computer.
The little that is documented about him is that he had little time for small talk…but he had a calculating mind that made his peers fear and hate him in equal measure.
He had few friends in politics. But he dined and wined with kings.
In the process, he amassed an estate worth billions, distributed in all counties in Kenya.
On the day he died, Kitili was headed to Thika to pay his workers in his 10,000 acre coffee farm.
The firm has since been sold by his family.
Was Kitili a lone ranger? To some extend yes. On the day he died, he was alone in his vehicle…
Kitili was not your idea of a coward. Neither was he by any remote imagination an academic dwarf.
The diminutive son of Senior Chief Mwendwa Kitavi was Kenya’s first black Chief Justice.
First black Chief Justice
Legend has it that Jomo Kenyatta had a soft spot for the Kamba nation and his sons.
This made him elevate Kitili to this coveted position in 1970…as the first black holder to the office.
Kitili joined Major General Ndolo, the Army Commander as Kamba’s most influential people.
But they betrayed Kenyatta and plotted to overthrow the Government through unconstitutional means…when they were smoked out; Kitili opted to resign, just like Ndolo. But the other conspirator, Yatta MP Mutiso was send to jail by the courts.
Despite the betrayal, Mzee Kenyatta retained good relations with the larger Mwendwa family, and even allocated to them huge tracks of land in Githurai.
Before the tragic accident on 27th September 1985, Kitili was plotting to take over the leadership of KANU in Ukambani. He had already influenced the election of his cronies in Kitui…using his immense wealth.
According to sources, he had planned to contest for the KANU Vice Chairman slot…with a firm eye on future elections.
But he rolled and hurt himself at Kenyatta University, was rushed to Thika General Hospital and later Agakhan Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
It is not clear why he was rushed to Thika, 25 kilometers away rather than Nairobi.
But one thing is clear. Had he lived, he would have played a key role in the President Moi succession …if not ultimately succeed him altogether.