Kenyan Leaders Unite to Eulogise Kenneth Matiba

  • Leaders from across the political divide have continued to pay tribute to Kenya's democracy hero Kenneth Stanley Njindo Matiba who passed on Sunday evening. 

    Matiba, who has been referred to as the father of Kenya's second liberation, will be remembered for among other things, risking his life and standing up against authoritarian regime in the 1980s.

    Upon the announcement of his death, two leaders, in particular, seemed greatly affected due to their seemingly close relationship.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta held a presser eulogising Matiba as a true patriot who loved this nation terming him as his mentor. 

    In an emotional statement, the President exclaimed: "With the passing of Mzee Matiba, the cruel hand of death has robbed us of a devoted leader and mentor who was a role model to many including myself."

    [caption caption="File image of President Uhuru Kenyatta, the first lady Margaret Kenyatta and Kenneth Matiba"][/caption]

    On his part, Opposition supremo, Raila Odinga also noted: "Our country has lost one of the last living symbols of the pains our people have had to bear in order to get where we are. It is hardly where we intended or ought to be, but certainly better than where we were at this time over 20 years ago, thanks to the sacrifices of Hon. Matiba and his team."

    Mr Odinga's relationship with the deceased can be attributed to the fact that he was among the politicians who were arrested and detained in 1990, alongside Matiba, for agitating for the reintroduction of multi-party politics. 

    "As a family, we have a very special bond with Hon. Kenneth Matiba and his family," noted the ODM leader.

    Deputy President William Ruto echoed similar sentiments describing the late Matiba as a patriot whose contribution to Kenya will never be forgotten.

     "He was a passionate politician, indefatigable and forthright operator. He applied himself to his duties with exceptional enthusiasm and diligence, always determined to succeed," mentioned DP Ruto.

    National Assembly speaker Justin Muturi eulogised Matiba with a call for everyone to make Kenya a better place like he envisioned.

    His Senate counterpart Ken Lusaka commented: “Matiba fought valiantly for freedom of expression and multiparty democracy. We will remember his service to the Nation as both a public servant and a politician”.

    Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru praised him championing and defending multiparty democracy and the rule of law.

    Chief Justice David Maraga exclaimed: "As we mourn and say goodbye to this visionary leader, let us also celebrate his life and achievements. We are privileged that he lived amongst us and we thank God for the time we share with him."

    Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed also celebrated Matiba as a man of "rare courage and noble bearing."

    [caption caption="File image of ODM leader Raila Odinga, Siaya Senator James Orengo and Kenneth Matiba"][/caption]