Leaders joined Kenyans in eulogising veteran politician Kenneth Matiba after he succumbed to illness at the Karen Hospital in Nairobi on Sunday (15/4/18) night.
Leading Kenyans, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the founding father of multiparty democracy, Kenneth Matiba, was a true Kenyan patriot.
President Uhuru added the late Matiba was not only a role model to many but a mentor to him.
“His loss will not be easily forgotten as he fought to make Kenya a better place. His role in the fight for multiparty democracy of forward ever backward never helped transform our country to what it is today. Those who knew him can attest that he was selfless leader,” said the President through a televised speech from State House, Nairobi.
“The cruel hand of the death has robbed us a role model, mentor who served this country and her people with distinction. His accomplishment clearly demonstrates that determination pays,” Uhuru added.
On his part, Deputy President William Ruto in a statement sent to newsrooms, described the late Matiba as a patriot whose contribution will remain cemented in the history of Kenya.
“He was a passionate politician, indefatigable and forthright operator. He applied himself to his duties with exceptional enthusiasm and diligence, always determined to succeed,” said DP Ruto.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga noted that Kenya lost the last living symbol of the fight for democracy.
“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.
“As a family, we have a very special bond with Hon. Kenneth Matiba and his family; one sealed by a shared vision and the scars of our shared struggles,” Raila said in a statement.
Matiba had been admitted at the Karen Hospital for the last three weeks.
He will be remembered as a ‘second liberation hero’ having been at the forefront in the fight for multi-party democracy in Kenya.
He died at 85.