- Daily Nation
Lawrence George Sagini is a name synonymous with the country's founding President, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta's era. To many, he is remembered for being Kenya's first Minister for Education and a fierce advocate for peace and consensus among political rivals.
Known as a Kenyatta confidant, Sagini's political journey dates back to 1937 when he joined Kabaa Mangu Holy Ghost College where his classmates included Mwai Kibaki, Andrew Omanga, Moody Awori, Tom Mboya, Lawrence Oguda and Chrisantus Ogari.
Sagini briefly joined the teaching profession in 1950 before quitting in 1957 in order to pursue a degree in sociology and political science at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, United States. After graduating with honours in 1959, he flew back into the country and became a member of the Provincial Council of the University of East Africa.An undated image of Lawrence George SaginiKreresearcher/twitter
His political interests grew after Kisii was delinked from South Nyanza and became a separate constituency in a bid to increase constituencies and African representation in the Legislative Council.
The likes of lawyers James Nyamweya, Aminga Ayienda and Angwenyi Gichana declared interest for the regional seat. Gichana was chosen as he came from Sagini's lineage of great leaders.
Eventually, Sagini was persuaded to vie for the seat and emerged as the regional's leader.
When Kenya gained internal self-rule in 1963, Sagini was elected to the House of Representatives as MP for Kitutu West and named Minister for Natural Resources. In 1964 when Kenya became a Republic, he was made the Minister for Local Government, a position he held until 1969, when he lost the parliamentary seat.
The politician believed in dialogue whenever political discords occurred - this particular method kept Kenyans solidly behind the Kenyatta government.
Sagini's friendship with Jomo Kenyatta made him a staunch for the KANU government. He also managed to become friends with those within the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga’s camp.
He amassed years in active politics and emerged as one of the powerful ministers during the Kenyatta era. At the time, while serving as a member of Parliament as well as the Kenya Power and Lighting Company chairman, the politician declined to take salary from the parastatal - noting that taking both salaries would be cheating the government.
However, in July 1995, while attending a burial of Tabitha Moige, a wife to his friend James Nyamweya, Sagini jokingly urged mourners to turn up in large numbers for his burial just like that of Nyamweya's wife. Two weeks later, Sagini succumbed after his car got hit while on his way to Kisii from Nairobi.Mzee Jomo Kenyatta takes the oath of office during his swearing-in as Kenya's first Prime Minister on June 1, 1963 .jpgDaily Nation
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