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BY CORRESPONDENT,MURANGA,26TH APRIL 2018-The second and the last Funeral mass for the late veteran politician Kenneth Matiba was on Thursday held at Ihura stadium in Muranga county.It was during the mass attended by among others president Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga that mourners were tol of a man who lived in days when it was a mattter of life and death for anybody who dared oppose the government.ODM leader Raila Odinga taking time to narrate just how he went an extra mile to fight for Matiaba’s survival at a time when they were both in detention in 1990.
Addressing mourners Odinga disclosed that when Matiba suffered a stroke while in detention at Kamiti Maximum Prison, he was denied treatment and his health worsened until he (Odinga) secretly sent a message to Matiba’s wife, Edith, written in a toilet paper.
Odinga narrated that they had been locked up in different cells with Matiba, but they were being attended to by the same doctors and also being guarded by the same security officers.
The opposition leader said he would later establish a cordial relationship with a prison warden, whom he named Mwangi, and who would pass messages between them.
Odinga further narrated that on one occasion, Mwangi disclosed to him that Mr. Matiba had fallen ill but for several days the doctors were claiming he was feigning illness.
“Mwangi came and told me, ‘Mheshimiwa your friend is sick. These days he is very dull, he is not talking, he just says he is in pain. Doctors have examined him but they are saying he is pretending but they themselves believe he is sick,’” Odinga recounted.
“When I heard this, I used a toilet paper to write to Ida telling her to inform Edith that Ken is sick. That askari, a Kenyan patriot who is now retired, is the one who took that note to Ida and that is how Ida informed Edith that Ken is sick.”
Odinga went further to narrate that when the government heard that Matiba’s family had received information of his deteriorating health condition, they took him to hospital and registered him for treatment as a Mr. Muchiri.
“I am saying this because I believe strongly that what caused the stroke in Matiba was preventable. If action would have been taken early Matiba would not have suffered a stroke,” said Odinga.
His daughter Susan eulogized her father as fearless, one who was not afraid to correct and one who spent time and resources to make other people’s lives better.
“God gave a very special gift to or father, that was the gift of fearlessness. For surely, our father lived his life without fear. He was fearless in his relationships with all people. He was not afraid to show love and to demonstrate it to the fullest. He was not afraid to chide and to correct. He was not afraid to speak his mind,” he state.
His body was to be brought back to Nairobi ahead of a planned cremation at the Lang’ata Cemetery on Friday.