Kung’u Karumba, who was a close friend of Kenya’s first President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, met his death after pretending to be his brother in Uganda.
Kung’u, a businessman, had travelled to the neighbouring country to collect a Ksh 19,000 debt from a woman, Margaret, who had taken goods from him and promised to pay later.
On June 1974, he left Nairobi in a brand new Toyota Hilux pickup, registration KPW 301, straight from the showroom. With him was his 19-year-old son Peter Karanja.
In Uganda, he was hosted by a Kenyan business couple Ibrahim Mungai and his wife Susan Wamaitha who helped him locate Margaret’s shop.
When he got to the shop, the woman snubbed them so Kung’u, who had once been jailed with Kenyatta at Kapenguria, decided to report the matter to the police.
Since authorities were reluctant to follow up on his complaint, he resolved to confront Margaret again.
On arriving at her shop, a heated exchange ensued and Margaret threatened to report Kung’u to her husband in the military.
“Why do you keep coming here? I will report to my husband that you’re disturbing me!” Margaret warned.
Unshaken, Karumba walked to her and rebutted: “Forget about your husband: Just look at me well, I am President Kenyatta’s brother. If you don’t pay my money I’ll report this matter to President Amin himself!”
There and then, Margaret dialed a number and spoke in Luganda: “Nguudi jaree? Bwaja mugambe muita (Is he there? Tell him I am calling him).”
Susan, who had accompanied him, advised Kung’u to leave before things got out hand.
They proceeded to a KCC outlet to buy milk before going home. Susan alighted and left Kung’u waiting in the car. However, she returned to find both Kung’u and the vehicle missing.
Early the following day, a barmaid visited the house where Kung’u had been hosted to inform them about drunk soldiers who were celebrating killing ‘Kenyatta’s brother’ and dumping his body in Mbira Forest.
Ibrahim, his host, immediately headed to the forest where he found shirt wrappings which he recognised from Karumba’s vehicle.
He reported his findings to President Amin’s aide, Colonel Isaac Maliyamungu who mounted a fake search for the body.
Since Kungu’s remains were not found, he was declared to have died on the expiry of the mandatory seven years after which a missing person is legally proclaimed dead.