, HOMABAY, Kenya, Nov 28 – Homa Bay Senator Gerald Otieno Kajwang’ has finally been laid to rest in a private ceremony at his rural home in Waondo, Mbita constituency.
Only family members, Senators, Members of the National Assembly and Governors were allowed at the graveside.
His brother Tom Kajwang’ led the family in laying wreaths at the grave.
ODM party leader Raila Odinga, Senators Hassan Omar Hassan, Wilfred Machage, Governors Jack Ranguma and Cyprian Awiti were among the colleagues who also laid wreaths.
Earlier in the day, a church service was held which soon turned into a political platform as CORD leaders drummed up support for Raila Odinga ahead of the 2017 General Election.
“I want to say, let us be encouraged by his clarion call, the fight continues, aluta continua…baba Raila take us to the destination it is not over,” chanted Mombasa women representative Mishi Mboko.
They also seized the opportunity to stamp their authority in the region further dismissing the rumour that certain members of the party were forming a break-away party.
“Those who have imagined that ODM is weakened that our house is falling apart, I tell you ‘poleni sana’ our worthy rivals wherever you are, I want to tell you this, be afraid because Raila Amollo Odinga is re-branding and reloading, ” stated Ababu Namwamba, the proposed Secretary General.
Outgoing Secretary General Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o acknowledged the current changes in the party’s structure saying he was willing to hand over the mantle to fresh blood that could steer the party further.
“Nobody ever knows when one will go, I may be with you now, in the drop of a leaf in the binding of a sheet I may be gone. This could easily be the last speech I am making to you but that is true for all of us. Let us take our responsibility in the world seriously, let us shun selfishness, let us shun greed and let us care for every human being who matters,” posed Nyong’o.
On his part, Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama who had earlier indicated that he would be taking over the mantle of Kajwang’ proved to the public his ability when he had the crowd singing Kajwang’s famous ‘mapambano’ song to the delight of many.
Although the death of Kajwang’ had united leaders across the political divide owing to his way of associating and relating to others, legislators allied to CORD were forewarned by the Minority Chief Whip, Thomas Mwadeghu to tow the party line or face ejection if purported to be associating with rival political parties.
“The death of Kajwang’ has made us unite but I am warning ODM members, if you can’t join ODM in its endeavour, if you do not follow the rules and regulations of ODM and if you can’t follow the constitution of ODM, then ship out,” warned Mwadeghu.
All those who addressed the gathering urged the public to emulate the late Kajwang’ who has been revered as a nationalist, a patriot, a loyal person and a passionate, humorous and generous leader.
The Speaker of the Senate noted the loss of the Homabay Senator who was an ardent contributor to debates on the floor of the House, as prior to his death; he made a passionate address on the ongoing security operation in Kapedo, Turkana County.
“If there is one legacy we want to attribute to Otieno Kajwang’ as the first senator of Homabay County, is that devolution must succeed,” said Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro.
Following the burial, succession politics is expected to take the stage with favourites among them Suba Member of Parliament John Mbadi already being touted as a successor.