By Prudence Minayo
The late Matungu Constituency MP Justus Murunga (Born in 1961) was known for his jovial disposition. His way with words often left his listeners in stitches. Not forgetting the deep belly laugh often associated with him. Behind this lovable persona, was a man who never had time for his children who lived like paupers.
Here is the story of Justus Murunga as told by WoK.
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Murunga vied unsuccessfully for the Matungu parliamentary seat in 2002. He went on to clinch the seat in the 2017 through the Amani National Congress party and served his constituents until 2020 when he passed away. He was also a member of the Departmental Committee of Agriculture and Livestock.
Prior to joining politics, the MP had stints in both real estate and sold cars in Kisumu.
The ex-MP was said to have more than one wife. In an article on The Standard titled First Time MP Dines Like a King, but his Kin and Kids Live Like Paupers. It was reported that he lived large, traded in Land Rovers every other time and slept in cheap lodgings.
Murunga lived in a mabati house in Umoja with his family before relocating to Utawala. A source told the Nairobian that he had not stepped in his Utawala home since his swearing in.
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“His children sometimes bump into him at the shopping center. When they go to the shops, they find his brand new Land Cruiser parked outside a bar. Naturally, a child who has not seen his father for months would walk in and say hello. The child would be shooed away with Sh500,“ a relative told The Nairobian.
One of his daughters had trouble joining Form Two due to lack of school fees. The MP asked his CDF office to send a bursary form to the said daughter. The publication said his first daughter didn’t go past secondary prompting relatives to pay for a tailoring course for her. His only son attended a driving school and became a gym instructor in Nairobi.
The third born was at home for three years as her mother struggled to raise money for her cabin crew training. A relative also said the third born had kidney issues and was once admitted to hospital. Out of the Sh18,000 bill, the late legislator sent Sh1500.
According to his relative, Justus Murunga was the eldest brother and the only one with the most money. Hence, his siblings could not advise him.
When contacted about these allegations by his family, he said he would attend a KTN interview and explain the details. Later, he failed to pick calls from the press.
In 2020, the late parliamentarian was arrested over escalating violence in Kakamega. Ten people had been killed in a month. His arrest sparked an outcry for his release with the likes of Cleophas Malala coming to his defense.
The first time member of Parliament passed away on 14th November 2020 . He had previously been released from Aga Khan Hospital where he was undergoing treatment for diabetes and high blood pressure complications. Family and friends thought he was getting better before he suddenly collapsed. He died while being rushed to the hospital.
Several politicians including Uhuru Kenyatta, deputy president William Ruto, Hon. Raila Odinga and Cleophas Malala eulogized him and expressed their sorrow over his passing.
Following his death, a woman came out claiming he was the father to her children and wanted to be included in the burial arrangements. A DNA test proved the MP had fathered her three-year-old daughter.
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