Final and Disturbing Report from the Keegan Funeral Committee in Stockholm: Part 2
One fundamental reason why the Keegan Committee has decided to publish the uncanny behind-the-scenes theatrics in the run up to the Keegan harambee is not to undermine or attack Keegan’s ex or Keegan’s family. It is to check the notorious and unwelcome interventions of Kenyan “exes” in Stockholm whenever a former spouse passes on and a Committee is set up to address the critical issue of body transportation to Kenya.
In writing this report, the stated position of the Committee is that when history has converted you into an “ex” (whether man or woman) following the collapse of a matrimonial relationship, you ought to stick to the role of an “ex” when your former lover passes on. While you may have a right to look into the interests of your children in such situations, you have no right to interfere with the funeral process unless there are very special circumstances. We are recommending this arrangement because the role Keegan’s ex played during the harambee process was retrogressive to say the least.
Because of the tolerance and maturity of Committee members, a rather hostile situation looked very calm and cool. However, behind the scenes, there were constant and unwarranted battles between Keegan’s family, Keegan’s mother and the Committee. In many circumstances, the Committee sympathized with Keegan’s mom because she was in a more helpless situation, given her advanced age and the tragedy of having lost a dear son. Certain realities reported here are bitter but the Committee believes that future Committee’s will learn from the Keegan Committee’s experiences because Kenyans will continue to die, there will always be “exes” in Kenya-Stockholm while children will continue to remain part and parcel of the Kenyan society.
The battle between Mama Keegan and the Keegan family
At Keegan’s residence, the battle lines were drawn when the family raised the issue of inheritance of Keegan’s property. Although the Committee had no powers to arbitrate over the issue, daggers were drawn when the family insisted on seizing Keegan’s 42 inch plasma TV despite opposition from Keegan’s mother. At an “inheritance meeting” held at Keegan’s residence after the harambee, the Committee had to watch helplessly as Mama Keegan pleaded with the family to take anything else apart from the TV. According to Mama Keegan, the TV was the only source of entertainment at the residence and since she is not computer-savvy, her view was that the family could make do with the lap-top or “anything else” (including the leather sofa set and kitchen ware) but leave the TV alone.
The expectation of the Committee was that the family could have waited with the issue of inheritance until Keegan’s burial because strictly speaking, Keegan did not leave behind any substantial property apart from house wares. After intervention by Committee members, Keegan’s mom retained the TV. At that point, the Committee thought that the battle between Mama Keegan and the family would end there but it didn’t.
In a fresh surprise led by Keegan’s ex, the family started questioning the Committee as to why it had prioritized the purchase of Mama Keegan’s ticket, leaving the daughters with SEK 10,000 “which could not purchase two tickets”. That was after the family had tried to capture the SEK 5,000 which had been advanced to Mama Keegan to help her with funeral expenses in Kenya.
In short, the Keegan family did not want Mama Keegan to benefit in any way from the harambee money and at this point, the relationship between the Committee and the family disintegrated because the Committee took the view that the Keegan family was becoming more of a nuisance than a partner in the mission to transport Keegan’s body to Kenya.
Keegan family-Committee cut-link
As matters grew from bad to worse, Keegan’s eldest daughter called KSB to announce that the family had broken with the Committee and that henceforth, the family would take charge of the funeral arrangements. The daughter directed KSB to only publish information which was coming from the family and not the Committee. When KSB interrogated the daughter to establish what may have led to such a serious impasse after Kenyans raised SEK 75.000, the daughter had ready answers.
First, she said that the family had been disconnected from Committee activities making it difficult for the family to follow what the Committee was doing. She said that out of the SEK 75k, the family had only been given SEK 10k and that this amount was not enough for two tickets. She also said that the Committee seemed to have been prioritizing the personal interests of Mama Keegan (who had been sorted) leaving the family to seek other ways of fundraising to fill the gaping financial hole that had reportedly prevented the purchase of two tickets. Another borne of contention was that the Committee was dealing with the Funeral Agency that was to transport Keegan’s body to Kenya without consulting with the daughter who was officially, Keegan’s next of kin. According to the daughter, the Committee was rushing arrangements for the transportation of Keegan’s body without looking into the difficulties the daughters were experiencing with the ticket issue and that this situation had convinced the family that the Committee was not acting in the interest of the family.
Under the circumstances the daughter said that the family had come to the conclusion that it needed to take control of the situation by cutting links with the Committee. Legally, Keegan’s eldest daughter is the person who mattered in the situation and the daughter knew this very well.
By virtue of being the information conduit of the Committee, KSB was aware that SEK 75k had been raised and KSB informed the daughter that it did not make a lot of sense for the Committee to have given the daughters SEK 10k because even after sorting out Mama Keegan’s ticket, there was still more than SEK 20k in the kitty. After doing much of the listening, KSB promised to take up the matter with the Committee to hear their side of the story. KSB also advised the daughter that even though the family had a right to get its view across, the Committee’s side of the story also needed to be heard. As KSB sought the whereabouts of Sofia Njoroge, the Treasurer, to put her on the carpet on how the daughters had ended up with SEK 10k, Keegan’s ex called KSB and added more petrol to the fire. In fact, developments were taking place so fast that the scenario reflected a fast-paced movie packed with thrills, unexpected twists and wild turnarounds.
Additional issues raised by Keegan’s ex
One characteristic feature of Keegan’s ex is that she speaks very slowly while she also sounds like a very calm woman. When she called KSB, she emphasized on what the daughter had said while at the same time adding fresh reasons why the family was not happy with the way the Committee was running the Keegan project.
According to her, the family had scrutinized the contribution book and found “a lot of irregularities”. When pressed to name the irregularities, she did not have anything concrete although she did mention that some names “had been cancelled” in the book. Specifically, she could not answer whether the overall mathematics in the book did not tally with the final figure the Committee had worked out.
Another issue she brought up was that at the final meeting where cash was split up between the family and Mama Keegan, some Committee members walked away with crates of beer which had been left behind after the Keegan harambee. From her point of view, the crates could have been returned to the liquor store to be converted into cash which could go into the tickets for the daughters. She also said that during the “Open Houses” at Mama Keegan, there are some guests who gave Mama Keegan cash without the contributions being registered in the contribution book or being accounted for in the final figure. She emphasized that she was raising the issues in the interest of the kids.
In conclusion, she restated the daughter’s position that the family had broken with the Committee and warned that if the issues were not resolved, Keegan would be buried in Sweden. By then, the Committee had moved on and set the date for the transportation of Keegan’s body at 25th December 2013. Upon hanging up, KSB began hunting down Committee members to address the issues the family was raising. The first to come on the line was Sofia Njoroge, the Treasurer.
Reaction from the Committee
On behalf of the Committee, Sofia narrated developments at the meeting where cash was split between the family and Mama Keegan, leaving SEK 45k to sort out body transport. She explained how the daughters ended up with SEK 10k, pointing out that although SEK 75k had been raised, the family was failing to mention that SEK 9k had been deducted to carter for bankrolling. She also said that the family was not mentioning that it was also involved in the decision to sort out Mama Keegan at a meeting held at Keegan’s residence.
On the question of sidelining the family, Sofia said that as the Treasurer, she was personally in contact with the Funeral Agency for purposes of payment. She said that Keegan’s eldest daughter had already signed all necessary papers to facilitate transport and that there was nothing much that was left for her to do. She did not therefore understand what the family meant by being sidelined. She said that Keegan’s ex had produced Keegan’s old passport that triggered the paper-work by the Kenyan Embassy, leaving her with nothing else to do. She said that the family had participated in the final meeting where they were given the contribution book to scrutinize and report to the Committee in case of any anomalies.
According to Sofia, the family had not reported anything back to the Committee on the book scrutiny. On the question of “cancelled names” on the contribution book, Sofia said that those are “normal lines drawn across names” to cancel repetitions or correct errors and which, she said, were immaterial from the point of view of the final tally. On the question of the crates of beer that were allegedly scooped by some Committee members, Sofia said that the beers in question were four crates and that while one crate was left at Keegan’s residence, the Committee had agreed that three Committee members would each take one crate to compensate for the overhead expenses they had incurred. In this way, she said that the Committee did not have to dig into the kitty as this could have reduced the final figure with almost SEK 600. She said that all these decisions were taken in the presence of the family at Keegan’s residence during the winding up meeting.
On the question of Mama Keegan having been given cash that was never accounted for, Sofia said that she was not aware about such contributions although she averred that it is possible that some people may have given Mama Keegan cash without writing the contribution book. She however added that nobody could prevent guests from giving Mama Keegan cash directly although she mentioned that in such cases, it was highly unlikely that such contributors did not know about the existence of the contribution book. She said that Mama Keegan was never alone at her son’s residence throughout the harambee process and that anybody who may have given her cash may have done so with the intention of remaining anonymous. She dismissed the claims as “petty” and told KSB that Keegan’s ex ought to stop misleading her children and concentrate on helping transport the body to Kenya.
Kenya-Stockholm’s gossip channels “pick up the news”
As the KSB investigations were continuing, anti-Committee propaganda was taking root in Kenya-Stockholm’s underground news channels and gossip Networks which had gathered wind that the Committee “had eaten harambee money”. According to the “Breaking News” headlines, despite Wakenya having raised SEK 75k, there was no cash for tickets for Keegan’s daughters because money had disappeared. Like wild bushfire out of control, the rumours were spreading so fast that in a span of a few hours, the saturation of the “news” about “eaten cash” had provoked a series of phone calls to Committee members with Wakenya seeking to understand how cash melted from the harambee pot right inside the pockets of Committee members.
The ensuing excitement about “the pathogenesis of corruption” within the Keegan Committee sent shock waves down the spines of Committee members, prompting them to call an emergency meeting at Hallunda at 21.00 hrs in Stockholm to discuss the rapid development of events and to develop a counter strategy to put the records straight. KSB was invited to this meeting and it is here that a decision was taken that a full Report detailing a breakdown of finances would be released to the public as soon as possible so that the Keegan family could explain “how cash had been eaten”.
Fresh fundraising initiative hit the rocks
Although the Keegan family was never named as the source of the rumours, expert Kenya-Stockholm’s rumour mongers continued to quote “reliable sources”, “sources close to the Committee”, “watu wengine”, “some people”, “inasemekana” and other invisible propaganda stations operating illegally in the underground. When the financial break down was eventually published at KSB soon after the meeting, the situation appeared to calm down. KSB then contacted the Keegan family and offered to mediate in order to prevent the family from applying the breaks that could stop the transportation of Keegan’s body to Kenya.
The KSB strategy was based on an internal fund raising within the Committee and friends so that Keegan’s daughters could be able to purchase tickets. However, when Committee was contacted about the idea, most of the members said that they had exhausted their financial resources during the Keegan harambee and that they were not interested in any further fund raising. Some Committee members had also become tired with the antics of Keegan’s ex and the last thing they wanted to hear was fresh ideas about fund raising. Without any support from an exhausted Committee, the KSB initiative hit the rocks. This opened the way for a fresh crisis.
When KSB informed the family about the sad news, Keegan’s ex sent a text message to all Committee members (including KSB) that the family had decided to stop the transportation of Keegan’s body to Kenya. By then, Keegan’s body was chilling at Arlanda International Airport waiting for a scheduled flight to Kenya on 25th December. The flight was to take off in just 24 hours time. As the next of kin, Keegan’s daughter called the Funeral Agency and terminated all arrangements. The family said that Keegan would be buried in Sweden.
When news reached the Committee, a decision was taken to the effect that in case the family decided to bury the body in Sweden, the Committee would call a meeting and refund all cash that Wakenya contributed. Keegan’s mother was scheduled to travel at about the time the body was to leave for Kenya but when the transportation was stopped, the mother travelled as scheduled without the body. In the meantime, the Funeral Agency rebooked the body to be transported on 30th, December 2013 hoping that the postponement would create room for fund raising that would resolve the crisis. At this point, KSB attempted a fresh intervention.
Final deal on Christmas day
Using its Networks of good friends, KSB took contact with a Travel Agent in Stockholm to negotiate a deal that would enable the daughters to obtain tickets to Kenya. Although details of this deal will remain secret for reasons of confidentiality, the Agency accepted to help and on Christmas day (25th December), an official of the Agency accepted to meet the family to arrange for three tickets for two daughters and their mother.
The verbal deal with the family was that if the tickets could be worked out, Keegan’s body would be transported to Kenya on the 30th December 2013 for him to be buried on 3rd January 2014. The deal went through and Keegan’s body was transported to Kenya. The family travelled the same day that the body left Stockholm. Any questions about this Report should be directed to the Keegan Committee.
Keegan Funeral Committee in Stockholm
RELATED: Part one