Peter Manjau Mwai, a businessman who gained national attention in Kenya in 2004 for "sneaking" his way into a seat close to then-President Mwai Kibaki during the opening of Parliament, has passed away.
Man who sneaked his way into President's proximity dies
The man, who was the president's namesake, became the talk of town after the daring move
According to the family, Mwai passed away on March 26, 2023, due to a short illness.
Stranger in the House
It was Tuesday, March 30, 2004, when Mwai made his way into Parliament, much to the shock of the country's security apparatus.
He had an invitation card that allowed him to observe proceedings from the public gallery, but he wanted more.
He sought the Clerk of the National Assembly's permission to sit in the Speaker's gallery but was directed to a room where religious leaders were waiting.
As he waited with them, he was told to proceed to the chamber and take his seat, which is how he ended up next to the top judges and fhen-President Kibaki.
After the incident, the issue was raised by then-Voi MP Boniface Mghanga, and the Speaker at the time, Francis ole Kaparo, was shocked by the security breach.
The Daily Nation even published a story headlined, "Scare as stranger gets near Kibaki in House."
After being arrested by seven officers in plain clothes the following day, Mwai visited the Nation Media Group newsroom at Nation Centre to give his side of the story.
He explained that he was an estate agent who was doing business with the Legislature and that he was mistakenly pushed to the position he found himself in.
While the Parliament incident caused quite a stir in the country, Mwai was known for being a social man who interacted freely with many people, including journalists.
Mr. Mwai's passing leaves behind his wife Grace Mwai, an evangelist, their four children, and five grandchildren.
The family has planned prayers and funeral arrangements meetings at St Andrew's on Wednesday, March 29, 2023, and at the All Saints Cathedral on Friday, March 31, 2023.
Although Mr. Mwai's life may not have been extraordinary, his "Stranger in the House" incident is one that will be remembered in Kenya's history.
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