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President Kenyatta, Ethuro mourn veteran politician GG Kariuki

President Kenyatta described the late Senator as ‘a pragmatic leader who immensely contributed to the liberation and growth of Kenya/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 30 – President Uhuru Kenyatta and Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro have joined Kenyans in mourning the Late Laikipia Senator G.G Kariuki following his demise.

President Kenyatta described the late Senator as ‘a pragmatic leader who immensely contributed to the liberation and growth of Kenya.’

“Senator Kariuki is one of the few leaders in the country who despite his age continued to play a key role in shaping the country’s future by being a voice of reason where there were endless arguments on national issues,” President Kenyatta said in his message.

“The contribution of the late Senator G.G Kariuki will forever be engrained in our minds and history books. As a young leader during independence, he played a key in resolving land conflicts and the resettlement of squatters, particularly in Laikipia, as well as standing for the rights of all Kenyans where he felt they were being trampled by those in authority, “ said President Kenyatta.

The President said the late senator not only played a major role in the struggle for independence but was also a key player in the growth of democracy in Kenya.

“He was also at the centre of second liberation together with other leaders who championed for true democracy in our country. As a nation we are truly indebted to him and other founding fathers of our nation,” said the President.

President Kenyatta said Senator Kariuki considered the interests of the general public extremely important than those of few individuals who cared for their own interests.

On his part; Ethuro said he received a message on Kariuki’s death ‘with great shock and disbelief.’

In a statement sent to newsrooms, Ethuro who is out of the country on official duty says ‘the late senator who is a political mentor to many will be missed by many in Parliament.’

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He says his prayers and those of the Senate are with the family at this trying and difficult moment and prays that his soul may rest in eternal peace.

Kariuki who turned 78 on December 12, is the only MP in Kenya today who served in the first Parliament after he was first elected to Parliament in May 1963 and served uninterrupted for 20 years before losing in the 1983 snap elections.

The late Kariuki also served several terms as Member of Parliament for Laikipia West Constituency, and he was also cabinet minister in both the governments of Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi.

Amid concerns about his health, The late Kariuki, is quoted in a newspaper interview as stating that he will give the people of Laikipia time to look for a suitable replacement.

The oldest legislator graduated with a PhD in International Relations from the University of Nairobi in 2015.

The man who entered Parliament aged 29, was quoted as telling the newspaper interview that he was still very strong to .

A physical fitness enthusiast, Kariuki in his early years helped introduce the Korean martial arts, Taekwondo, into Kenya.

G.G. Kariuki was born in December 1938 at Lariak Estate, Laikipia, to Kariuki wa Waigwa and Wangui wa Ngummo.

He attended primary school in Lariak and joined Kiamwangi Secondary School in Thika, but his education was interrupted by the declaration of the State of Emergency in 1952, after which he joined the struggle for independence.

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