, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 21- President Uhuru Kenyatta has described the late First Vice President Jaramogi Odinga as a ‘true patriot’ who is unshakable in his convictions.
The President said Jaramogi secured a rich legacy for his role in fighting for the country’s independence and in the opposition politics.
In a statement to mark 17th anniversary of his passing, the President has pointed out that Jaramogi, who is the father of the current opposition leader Raila Odinga, was instrumental in the return to multi-party politics.
“In the 50s, he was among the very first Africans elected to the then Legislative Council. And even then, he was already clear in his mind that the goal was independence: as chair of the elected African members, he led them in refusing to serve under the colonial constitution,” he stated.
“In the end, that uncompromising commitment to freedom was rewarded by independence in 1963, and he rose, as was fitting, to high office. In later years, he led the opposition, and was instrumental in the return to multi-party politics.”
After the Independence, the founding father of the Nation Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was the main political figure together with his Vice President Jaramogi, a similar scenario in today’s politics.
“He remains one of a very few men who can truly claim to have been one of the founding fathers of this nation. We owe him, and his compatriots, a debt we cannot begin to repay,” he said.
“Ours is to remember his effort with gratitude, and to emulate his example: his integrity, his courage, and his love of liberty. We stand with the family at this time of remembering Jaramogi Oginga Odinga’s life and service to our nation.”