, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 26 – The body of the late Kenneth Matiba will be transported by road to Murang’a on Thursday, where a second funeral service will be held in his honour.
The requiem service will be held at Ihura Stadium in his rural backyard before it is brought back to Nairobi ahead of a planned cremation at the Lang’ata Cemetery on Friday.
A requiem mass for Matiba was conducted in Nairobi on Wednesday where various speakers–including his friends were given a chance to eulogize him, recalling his struggle for multiparty democracy.
Hundreds of mourners, led by President Uhuru Kenyatta, turned up at the All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi to pay homage to the fiery politician extolling him as a man of integrity and selfless leader of his time.
In his speech, the Head of State said Kenyans will miss but never forget Matiba who was famous for his courage and was at the forefront in shaping Kenya’s political landscape especially in the early 1990s.
“Ken Matiba epitomised what Kenya is supposed to be. He was committed to hard work and was willing to sacrifice all his property and wealth for the sake of the country,” he said at the memorial service held at the All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi.
President Kenyatta said there was a lesson in Matiba’s life for all Kenyans and especially leaders who should ask themselves what they would be remembered for.
“Kenya will miss him but we will never forget him,” said the President, of Matiba, who was famous for his unwavering fearlessness and was known for his rallying call, “forward ever, backward never.”
He called on leaders to mentor young people who will take over the mantle of leadership in all spheres of life just like Matiba did.
“True leadership is not scared of mentoring and training others to take over from them,” said President Kenyatta.
Deputy President William Ruto said Matiba is a fallen hero whose sacrifices for democracy has benefited the current generation of Kenyans.
“We are here to mourn a fallen hero – Kenneth Matiba – who in a very special way made huge personal sacrifices both as a husband, father and also as a Kenyan. We are beneficiaries of his sacrifices as a leader. ” said the DP.
Former President Mwai Kibaki, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and the spouse of the DP Rachel Ruto were among the many leaders who attended the funeral service.
Besides his role in spearheading the advent of multi-party democracy, Matiba was also among the first Kenyans who played a leading role in laying the strong foundations for Kenya as a Nation.