How CS's Controversial Order Forced Man's Return Home After 51 Years

  • The decision by Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko in July 2019 to order the Mau forest evictions may have triggered a political storm, but also brought with it good tidings, at least for one family.

    The Daily Nation reported on Tuesday, September 17, 81-year-old Francis Muthua Chege of Murang' a County returned home to his wife and family after a 51-year absence.

    He is alleged to have left his home in Ikumbi village of Kigumo Constituency, Murang' a County, in 1968 when he was only 30 years old.

    Muthua and his wife Wanjiru after his return home. He had been away for 51 years, only to return after Mau Forest eviction notice.

    The Daily Nation also reported that when he left, he did not inform his wife and 6 children of his departure thereby leaving them in anguish as they searched all over for him.

    His wife, Wanjiru Muthua is alleged to have searched all over and managed to catch up with him in Kisii only for him to disappear again.

    “My only option was to leave his whereabouts to God, pray for his protection and hope that one day he would show up. I had to do that to concentrate on looking after our children and ensuring they went to school," she was quoted.

    Chege, on his part, is reported to have told his family and the entire village that he went to Kisii, Narok and Kilgoris towns where he tried his hand in business but nothing worked for him.

    “I would burn charcoal and spend all the proceeds on alcohol. My second wife and my son could not tolerate my habits so she called it off. I lived a miserable life and felt the shame of going back home with nothing,” he said.

    The order by CS Tobiko to evict families from the Mau left him with no option but to return home.

    He claimed that he went to Kilgoris Police Station and pleaded with the police officers to give him bus fare so that he could return to his village. He admitted that he could not remember the exact place where the house was, but he knew where the village was located.

    Villagers celebrating the return of Muthua. His family and villagers are alleged to have welcomed him with intrigue and warmth.

    A villager then helped the worn-out and tired Muthua to locate his home.

    The children, all grown up and running their businesses, are reported to be gearing up for a feast to welcome their runaway father.