Leaders pay last respects to Joseph Kamotho

Murang’a Catholic Diocese Bishop Maria Wainaina prays at the graveside before the burial of former minister John Joseph Kamotho at his home. [PHOTOS: JOHN GATHUA/ STANDARD.

MURANGA COUNTY: Former powerful Cabinet Minister John Joseph Kamotho was eulogised Wednesday at his funeral as a man of conviction who spoke his mind and served the government diligently.

Most of the speakers at his funeral service held at Njumbi Primary School in Murang’a before burial at his nearby Mioro home remembered the deceased for his sterling performance as Secretary General of Kanu.

President Uhuru Kenyatta pointed out that Kamotho twice sacrificed his parliamentary seat by sticking with his party and principles.

“He was also a selfless public servant and it is outstanding that he cannot be associated with any scandal in the years he was a powerful minister and senior party functionary,” said Uhuru.

Deputy President William Ruto said Kamotho was a public servant who had taught many that it was possible to leave a great legacy without a necessary accumulation of wealth.

“We shared jobs with this great man as Kanu Secretary General and Minister for Higher Education but I didn’t do as great,” said Mr Ruto.

Retired President Daniel arap Moi, in a message delivered by his son and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, described Kamotho’s death as “a deep personal loss.”

Moi described Kamotho as an indefatigable public servant who contributed to making Kanu a robust political party.

The retired President described Kamotho as “thoughtful, energetic and articulate in defence of Kanu.. .He fought heroically without losing the human love for his constituents.”

He observed that Kamotho served the party “diligently, sometimes almost endangering his personal financial balance.”

As the current Kanu chairman, the Baringo senator added: “He served the party in a period where we managed to handle various challenges.”

He also paid tribute to Kamotho for sparing no effort in promoting Kanu programmes and policies, mostly against a dreadful opposition challenge. Senate Deputy Speaker Kembi Gitura delivered a message by former President Mwai Kibaki who observed that Kamotho had superbly earned his right of place in the history of Kenya.

“He was a man of great conviction and who spoke from his heart,” said Kibaki.

Gitura said Kamotho’s will be among the names engraved when Murang’a County designates a heroes corner.

The mass was celebrated by Murang’a Catholic Bishop James Maria Wainaina. Bishop Isaac Ng’ang’a of the Mt Kenya Central Diocese of the Anglican Church urged the Government to help maintain the competitive spirit of education.

“It is great to hear of a person such as JJ who went to Russia, US and England in pursuit of education. If we say that failing doesn’t matter, it will kill this spirit completely,” said the Bishop Ng’ang’a.

Bishop Peter Kairu of the Nyeri Catholic Diocese hailed the former minister as having contributed much to uplift education standards in the country.

Others at the funeral were opposition leader Raila Odinga, former presidential candidate Peter Kenneth, 11 MPs, six senators, nine former MPs and Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria.