NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 3 – Family and friends paid glowing tributes at the burial of Paul Koinange, the Kiambaa MP who succumbed to COVID-19.
Koinange was buried at his rural home in Kiambaa at a ceremony attended by several leaders, among them Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi.
Koinange succumbed to COVID-19 related complications on Wednesday at the Nairobi Hospital leaving behind two widows, five children and several grandchildren.
Muturi led the nation in paying final respects to the second term lawmaker in a ceremony that was strictly conducted in adherence to the COVID-19 protocols that restricts the number of mourners to 50.
“We will always remember him for what he did especially his role and being the brain child of the annual national prayer breakfast meeting that brought together leaders and unified them in prayer,” he said.
Muturi recalled that it was through the efforts of Koinange that a structured system that allocates budget for the National Prayer Breakfast was created.
“Even after he is long gone, what we started with Koinange will live withing our parliamentary fraternity forever,” he said.
While recounting how Koinange’s charisma was beyond reproach, Muturi revealed how President Uhuru Kenyatta summoned him to State House and sought his advice on who should chair the powerful National Departmental Committee on National Security, which Koinange was its chair until his demise.
“Upon submitting Koinange’s name, the President called a Jubilee Parliamentary Group Meeting where he announced that Koinange was the substantive chair and asked other committees to elect their preferred chairs,” he said.
Kiambu Governor James Nyoro said Koinange was a champion of peace and cited his undivided devotion to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) which he “personally took time to educate people in the Mt.Kenya region”.
“When we started with the handshake, we had a number of doubting Thomases but Paul took it upon himself to not only embrace the handshake but also to travel across the country to ensure that the document gets to unite Kenyans,” he said.
Wajiri MP Fatuma Gedi eulogized Koinange whom he served with in the Security Committee as his deputy as a humble leader who mentored those around him.
“He was a great man, a humble human being who was always a peacemaker and wanted to see people working together and was keen to see a united Kenya,” she said.
President Kenyata’s brother, Muhoho, eulogized Koinange as a great friend who was always ready and willing to help those were close to him.
“He was an exceptional friend, his unassuming demeanour and cheerful disposition always endeared him to all who interacted with him,” he said.
Oburu Odinga, brother to former Prime Minister Raila Odinga said Koinange heavily invested in ensuring that the people of Mt. Kenya region and Nyanza are united.
“He really worked so hard to see that the two communities are united,” he said.
Koinange’s first wife June said she had lost “the love of her life who was a great pillar in the family” and a God-fearing man who was kind to all.
“We loved, laughed and worked always together. We knew each other so well. He was a good man,” she said.
Kinange’s second wife, Mary eulogized her husband whom they met at the Immigration office as a generous soul who was warm and caring.
“What we shared will never die. I still love him and will always do,” she said.
The eldest daughter of Koinange, Muthoni, mourned her father as a unifying figure who always united members of his first and second family who were at loggerheads for a while.
“The greatest thing he did before he passed on is that he ensured that the two families are in good terms and we will strive to ensure that it remains just that,” she said.