BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,16TH APRIL 2018-Kenyan have joined together to mourn the second liberation hero, Kenneth Matiba.
President Kenyatta who led other political leaders in sending condolences massage to the family and friends described him as the father of democracy.
Matiba died on Sunday evening while undergoing treatment at the Karen Hospital in Nairobi.
President Kenyatta says Matiba, who died at the age of 85, was at the forefront of shaping the political landscape of the country.
“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. Indeed, he served the country with distinction. His accomplishments clearly demonstrate that focus, diligence, and determination pay. Those who knew him benefited immensely from his selfless leadership and wisdom,” President Kenyatta said in a televised statement from State House Sunday.
He especially noted his efforts during the clamour for multiparty democracy in 1990s and his rallying cry of “Forward Ever, Backward Never” which he says, “helped transform the country to its current status.”
“Mzee Matiba was a true patriot who loved this nation of Kenya, a nationalist who believed in hard work and building strong bonds of friendship for the betterment of all,” he said.
On his part Deputy President William Ruto on his part said Matiba was “an indefatigable proponent of democracy, human rights; a champion of the less privileged and a people’s person.”
“Mzee Matiba’s strong fight for reforms, freedom of expression, tolerance and divergent opinion that saw him overcome great odds, including detention, won him admiration from friends, foes and cemented his stellar status. He advocated hard work and he was richly rewarded in the fields of business, education, and sports.”
Opposition leader Raila Odinga said the country has lost one of the last living symbols of the pains Kenyans have had to bear in order to get where they 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,” Odinga said.
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi described the political icon as a brave and selfless leader.
“Respected and adored within and beyond our frontiers, Matiba’s hand in the unyielding hope he had for the prosperity of this country will always be with us,” the National Assembly speaker said.
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru said the country has lost, “a political icon and a strong defender of democracy.”
“To paraphrase John 15:13, Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (Country). Rest In Peace Kenneth Matiba the pioneer Kenyan professional & Our Father of Freedom, Democracy, inclusivity, and good governance,” Senator Kipchumba Murkomen said.The fallen icon has also been mourned by governors,MPs as well as senators.
His body is currently at the lee Funeral home