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Curtains fall on veteran politician and business icon, Ali Kabati.

The casket carrying the remains of Business icon and Politician Ali Mohammed carried shoulder high to the Thika Muslim Cemetery where he was laid to rest.
Ali Mohammed alias Ali Kabati, a veteran politician and former Deputy Mayor in the defunct Thika Municipal Council has passed on.

Kabati died Wednesday 15th November at his home aged 98 after a long illness.

Mzee Kabati was among a few lucky politicians to have served in almost all post independent regimes. He was a close ally of the founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, his predecessors Daniel Arap Moi, Emilio Mwai Kibaki and the current President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta.

The late Ali Kabati retired from active politics in 2007. Prior to his retirement, he was the longest serving councilor for Majengo ward on Kenya National African Union (KANU) ticket. He served in that capacity for about 47 years, 35 of which were unbroken.

His was a peaceful and very orderly political career that could be traced all the way from 1960s and has inspired and mentored so many people both in politics and in the business circles.

Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina was first to break the news of Kabati’s demise. He said the cruel hand of death had snatched his close friend and political mentor.

“I have received news of the death with profound shock and regret. The passing of Mzee Ali Kabati is an irreparable loss not only to the Muslim community and the people of Thika, but also to the country in general,” the MP stated in a message of condolence.

Wainaina said that Kabati, in his long and unblemished political career spanning over three decades, contributed greatly to the socio-economic well-being of the people of the Thika whom he represented. He added that the veteran politician was admired and respected not only by the residents of Majengo Ward where he represented but also by the entire Thika Constituency.

While conveying President Uhuru Kenyatta’s condolences to the family Cabinet Secretary Trade and Industry Adam Mohammed described the Late Kabati as a man who was able to build bridges and create a harmonious relationship between different communities, not only within Thika, but also nationally and internationally for a very long time.

“Kabati has left a very significant mark both locally and internationally. I hope his family will enjoy the same respect. Otherwise, I wish to relay condolences from the president who is really saddened by the loss of a personal friend and mentor,” said Adan.

Ali Kabati is remembered for his contribution to the development of schools and hospitals around Thika. Throughout his career, he is known to have used his entire salary to assist the needy in the society.

Mzee Kabati, who hails from the Isaak Clan of the Somali tribe, fought for independence alongside Kikuyu men under the MauMau banner and movement. He is also among the list of the original founders of KANU.

His friendship with the Kenyatta family dates back in the 60s when he worked as a shop assistant where he met Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.

“Their friendship blossoms after he would occasionally steal some beer from his employers and give it to Mzee Kenyatta then,” explains Fatuma Ali Mohammed, his first born.

Fatuma says that Kenyatta used to visit them occasionally even after he became the president of Kenya and their friendship with the first family still exists up to date.
Mzee Ali Kabati at State House Nairobi last year during a fete to honour him for his contribution to the community.

Last November, President Uhuru Kenyatta conferred Elder of Burning Spear (EBS) State award on the aging businessman in a colorful ceremony held at State house Nairobi and witnessed by the businessman’s family members as well as top government officials.

“Mr. Ali is a prominent and long standing businessman in Thika town who has provided employment to thousands over the years. He is a revered community and opinion leader having served as a councillor in Thika Municipal Council for 47 years and as the Deputy Mayor of Thika Town” said President Uhuru during the occasion.

He acquired the nickname “Kabati” as a result of putting up his first business in Kabati area of Murang’a County before he moved it to Thika.

“People used to call him ‘Ali Wa Kabati’ whenever they addressed him and eventually he adopted the name to date,” she explains.

The Late Kabati leaves behind six children, four sons and two daughters, after his wife died in 2009.

His burial was held at Thika Muslims Cemetery. 

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