Gideon Mwiti, the late Imenti Central legislator who passed on yesterday at a Nairobi hospital led a 'controversial political life'.
First elected to Parliament in 2013 on the Jubilee party ticket, Mwiti made headlines in 2015 when he quit alcohol and declared Jesus Christ as his personal saviour weeks after he was accused of rape at a Nairobi court.
Known to Imenti constituents as Livondo aka Mr. Moneybags, in reference to a politician from Western Kenya, Mwiti boasted that his cash tap was ever-flowing with money from proceeds of his alcohol business.
“I used to sell alcohol in Nairobi making up to Ksh300,000 a day, but I have closed that business,” Mwiti once told journalists when he turned over a new leaf.
“Jesus has raised me from the dead. He did not care about how many days Lazarus had spent in the grave or how much his body stunk but he used him for his glory,” the late MP preached on during a 2015 interview.
While quoting the biblical story of Lazarus' resurrection from the dead, little did Mwiti know that a lot of debate and talk would resurrect after his own death.
When he passed on yesterday, Kenyans on social media were excited with many recounting their moments with and recollections of the late legislator, their comments and sentiments varying from polite, mean and harsh.
"Former MP for Imenti Central impoverished thousands of families through multiple pyramid schemes & many committed suicide. He escaped the Long Arm of the Law. But now, he can’t escape the wrath of God who will surely send him to Hades!" Lawyer Donald Kipkorir said.
Wahome Thuku, a lawyer and former newspaper columnist privy to the case by victims defrauded of their savings and money by a scheme allegedly operated by Mwiti said, "this is one man who has died having taken several people through hell."
Wahome was referring to the collapsed Akiba Micro-Finance run by Mwiti which went under with the savings of 6,000 members in 2005.
"Forget about his chain of pyramid schemes. I once got instructions from a lady he had sexually assaulted. How he used money and the matter disappeared is a story for another day," Wahome added, making a reference to the rape case against Mwiti.
In 2015, the late legislator was charged with the counts of rape, intimidation and assault of a journalist.
A court in Nairobi heard that the legislator together with David Muchiri, a doctor accused of aiding and abetting crime, conducted an involuntary HIV test on the complainant before the alleged rape incident, claims and charges Mwiti denied.
In 2017, Mwiti quit politics after he lost to current Imenti Central MP Moses Kirima in the then general elections.
Announcing that he was no longer interested in politics, Mwiti said his energy was fully committed to the corporate world.
"I am highly satisfied with the results of the August 8 election. For the avoidance of doubt, I will not seek to be elected again as MP for Imenti Central," he said.
Mwiti, like a noble politician, counted his losses after the 2017 polls and ventured into the corporate world where another 'handful of losses' dogged him yet again.
In 2020, the former Imenti Central MP was almost declared bankrupt after the High Court in Nairobi after his estate accrued debts up to Ksh6 million.
The court asked Mwiti to forward a list of his estate, the economic valuation of all his investments, assets, liabilities and interests to the bank tasked with administering his estate. A receiver-manager was also delegated to manage his estate.
Aged 57, Mwiti who succumbed to complications from diabetes will be remembered for a controversial bill he proposed in Parliament just before his time in active politics came to a conclusion.
Through the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act bill, Mwiti sought to have beer manufacturers put between 5 and 10 per cent of their revenue in insurance companies to compensate alcohol consumers who suffer damages.
“The bill is a win-win for both consumers and manufacturers. The latter being compelled to ensure their consumers are engaged in responsible drinking.” Mwiti told the press at Parliament buildings.
The bill, however, did not sail through.