Uhuru, Raila and Ruto pay glowing tribute to Nyachae - Beaking Kenya News

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Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Uhuru, Raila and Ruto pay glowing tribute to Nyachae


Simeon Nyachae, a veteran politician who served in successive governments from independence, playing key roles in events that shaped the nation, was buried yesterday at a ceremony attended by top leaders.

Politics took a back seat during speeches at the funeral service of the Gusii political supremo, which was attended by President Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

The ceremony at Gusii stadium, where Nyachae in 1983, nine months after the 1982 attempted coup, had hosted then President Daniel Moi for an event that ultimately started the new president’s campaign to consolidate power, however, wasn’t entirely without drama.

Before yesterday’s ceremony, three of the DP’s allies — Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi, South Mugirango MP Silvanus Osoro and former ODM Kisii Branch Chairman Samuel Omwando — had been arrested.

On February 2, Mr Osoro and Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati had fought in an incident that rocked the burial of Mr Maangi’s father at Tendere stadium in Bomachoge Chache, which DP Ruto and Mr Odinga had attended.

Uhuru Kenyatta

Above: President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto during the funeral service of Simeon Nyachae on February 15, 2021.


It is against this backdrop and heightened political tension marked by bitter exchanges at the weekend between the President and his deputy, on one hand, and the DP and Mr Odinga, on the other, that their sharing of the podium yesterday was closely watched.

However, the trio avoided politics, focusing instead on the legacy of Nyachae, who died on February 1 aged 88.

Function was hurried

Party leaders Gideon Moi (Kanu), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper) and Musalia Mudavadi (Amani National Congress) also attended the burial.

The function was hurried, with only a few leaders allowed to speak because the President was rushing to Nairobi for the burial of Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji, who died yesterday.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i led other leaders in mourning Nyachae and explained why politicians were not allowed to address the mourners.

“Let us be understanding and share the love even to the family of our other departed hero, Senator Haji,” Dr Matiang’i said.

But even as the leaders downplayed politics, at least three of the DP’s point men in Kisii were arrested, with police alleging reports about planned chaos.

Police chiefs in Kisii County remained silent on the arrests of Mr Maangi, Mr Osoro and Mr Omwando.

President Kenyatta eulogised Nyachae as a great son of Kenya, whose immeasurable contribution to the nation spanned many decades and inspired millions of Kenyans.

Uhuru Kenyatta

President Kenyatta  consoles the family of former Cabinet Minister Simeon Nyachae at Gusii Stadium in Kisii County on February 15, 2021.


“Even in death, Mzee Nyachae undoubtedly stands tall amongst dedicated patriots of this country. His service to Kenya was characterised by utmost integrity, rare zeal, unbridled commitment to duty and a passionate candour that earned him accolades in three successive administrations,” the President said.

In Nyachae’s memory, and in consultation with the leadership of Kisii County, the Head of State announced that Gusii stadium will be renamed Simeon Nyachae Stadium Kisii.

Sports academy

“To ensure this stadium is completed by the end of this year and to an international standard, we will allocate an additional Sh150 million to the county government of Kisii,” President Kenyatta added.

He further directed the Sports Cabinet Secretary to immediately begin construction of a sports academy at Nyanturago stadium.

“It will be called Nyantika Maiyoro Sports Academy. It should be completed before my term ends,” the President said.

Every December holiday, hundreds of Gusii residents gathered at Nyanturago stadium in Nyaribari Chache to celebrate the Abagusii culture. Nyachae sponsored the annual Abagusii Cultural Day, which brought together community members.

The Deputy President caused laughter when he confessed that he was among politicians Nyachae whipped for misbehaving.

“It’s an appropriate moment for a confession, that apart from the blows and the other measures that were meted on his immediate family, those of us he found in politics, he also did not spare us,” the DP said.

Nyachae’s wrath

He narrated that together with former MP Omingo Magara, they faced Mr Nyachae’s wrath when they apparently misbehaved in Nyamarambe, Kisii.

“Michael, (Nyachae’s son), is actually the person Mzee sent to collect the cane. We later looked for Nyachae at his home, where we asked for forgiveness, and he was so gracious to us,” the mourners heard.

“As he lies here, I believe he’s speaking to all of us loudly. He had options of waiting to share what his father had, but he chose a different route by creating more wealth,”  the DP said and urged leaders to emulate Nyachae and focus on creating wealth.

Mr Odinga revisited the Kibaki Tosha declaration in 2002 that angered Nyachae, who at the time was, also eyeing the presidency.

“Today is not a day for politics, but I can say BBI,” Mr Odinga said after narrating how Nyachae played a key role in the formation of the opposition coalition that saw Mr Mwai Kibaki ascend to the presidency in 2002.

The ODM leader explained circumstances  that made him to endorse Kibaki ahead of the 2002 elections.

Mr Kalonzo had accused Mr Odinga of having shortchanged them when he said “Kibaki tosha’ .

Baringo Senator Gideon Moi said the family of Mr Nyachae and that of his father Moi had a rich history.

He said Mr Nyachae was a great statesman and a patriot who observed integrity.

“He was a man of great character, intelligent man, loyal man, we will miss him… If you have to learn something from Mzee (Nyachae), it’s that to reach the pinnacle of your career,  personal and business, you do not have to steal. You do not have to use shortcuts,” the Baringo senator said.


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