Final memorial for Matiba in Murang’a ahead of cremation
8 months ago, 25 Apr 23:58
The final service for Mr Kenneth Matiba will be held today at Ihura Stadium, Kiharu constituency, in Murang’a County, ahead of his cremation on Friday in a private ceremony to be attended only by the family and invited friends.
Yesterday, the All Saints’ Cathedral hosted a memorial service that was presided over by Anglican Church Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, former President Mwai Kibaki, former First Lady Ngina Kenyatta and many other leaders attended the three-hour requiem.
Key speakers said Mr Matiba was courageous and hard-working, besides being a generous father, husband, politician and businessman.
They recalled the sacrifices he made for Kenya, including the stroke he suffered due to detention by the Kanu administration.
Mr Matiba died on March 15 at 86 years.
He is mainly celebrated for leading the crusade for multiparty democracy in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The Head of State, in his message, described Mr Matiba as a father, mentor and friend who was caring and considerate to others.
Also, he said, Mr Matiba was ready to sacrifice everything for a better nation.
“He epitomised what Kenya is supposed to be — a nation of hard work. He sacrificed his wealth for the sake of the nation.
"I am yet to find a leader who can sacrifice wealth to advance a national cause,” the President said.
Mr Kenyatta said Mr Matiba mentored the youth to become leaders, something rare for men of his generation.
Deputy President Ruto said that although he was not active in politics in Matiba’s heyday, he learnt a lot from him.
“His clarion call: ‘Kuuga na Gwika’ (Kikuyu for ‘walking the talk’) informed to a great extent, at a personal level, what I thought of leadership; to match what we say with what we do,” he said.
Former President Mwai Kibaki and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, though present, did not address the mourners.
The main speakers were people well-known to the Matiba family.
Children and other members of the family described Mr Matiba as a man who valued hard work, loved the outdoors and was astute in sports.
Wife Edith Matiba mourned the charismatic and kind-hearted man who, despite his illnesses, was committed to the well-being of the family and those around him.
“It was very difficult to watch my husband through his declining health.
"He had been so vital, so full of verve and energy, so busy and so social. He bore his physical discomfort with the same courage and fortitude he executed in his public life,” she said.
Former classmate Joseph Hannington Oluoch, who was at Alliance High School with Mr Matiba, recalled their days as students.
The two were later admitted to Makerere University in Uganda.
“If we could technologically find a way of knowing how people got their billions, we would find that Matiba got his wealth because of his brains and hard work. The rest of the people we could probably find they looted,” he said.
Mr Peter Burugu, who worked with Mr Matiba at Kenya Breweries, told of his ...
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