By Prudence Minayo
Dickson Kihika Kimani was one of Kenya’s most vocal politicians during the reign of presidents Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi. He was known for his sense of humor and unapologetic bold remarks concerning various issues of national interest. The former MP was known as a proud man who had a ready response for any question or remark.
Here is his story as told by WoK.
Kihika made history as the MP who served in three constituencies at different times. He was first elected Nakuru North MP in 1974 and served until 1979. He then served Laikipia West Constituency between 1992 and 1997. He went on to serve Molo Constituency between 1997 and 2002.
During his time as a politician, he was known to have the ability to make the late retired president Moi roar with laughter. His daring exploits included parading a group of youths with dreadlocks at the Afraha Stadium telling the president they were reformed members of Mungiki who were seeking forgiveness.
He urged his six of his wives to vie for political seats in different constituencies. Kihika Kimani was also among those who lobbied for the constitution change to deny Moi from succeeding Jomo Kenyatta. It is said that had he succeeded, he would have been able to pass on constituencies to two of his sons and wives.
The late Member of Parliament had eight wives and about 41 children. Nakuru senator Susan Kihika is among his many children. Some reports indicate he could have had as many as 47 children.
The eight wives were: Nyambura Kihika, Lucy Wangari, Jane Wanjiru, Miriam Warau, Margaret Wambui, Alice Kihika, Winnie Wanjeri and Charity Nyambura.
At one time, journalists were invited to his Engashura residence. It was in the process of being converted into a university. He was seen holding a boy of barely three years old. A daring Standard journalist asked whether that baby was his too. Not a surprising question considering he was knocking 70s and in response and with a sense of humor Mr. Kihika asked in Kikuyu whether he had asked the journalist for help in that matter.
In the same spirit of humor and pride, he boasted of his riches and once told a crowd he had so much land. Thus, he could marry a wife after every six months as he had enough to pay for them.
Mr. Kimani passed on in 2004 from a diabetes complication. The Standard reported at the end of his life, the former lawmaker was just but a pale shadow of his former self. He passed away at the age of 78.
Nearly two decades after his death, the family is still battling for his estate at the courts. The Sh600 million succession case between his widows and children started in 2005 and has been heard by different judges. The case was yet to be resolved as of March 2022. Wambui and her co-wives inherited Kihika’s property as administrators on October 13, 2009.