Magoha tackled education ills despite opposition, Uhuru says

Barbara Magoha and other visitors look on as former President Uhuru Kenyatta signs Prof George Magoha's condolences book when he visited to condole with the family. [Jenipher Wachie, Standard]

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta has come out to defend his administration, saying that those people who opposed changes his government was implementing will one day realise that he meant good for the country.

Speaking in Lavington when he joined the family of Prof George Magoha, Uhuru said he did not regret appointing him as Education Cabinet secretary.

"We were going through a lot of challenges in examinations. Magoha took it personally. He used to go and ensure seamless printing, packaging and storage of exam materials. He assigned Cabinet secretaries and PSs to ensure all was well.

"I believe when I made him a minister, I made the right choice. He went ahead to address challenges in curriculum despite the opposition he got," Uhuru eulogised the late CS.

The former president scoffed at those who opposed the reforms he said were meant to benefit future generation.

"Let them say whatever they want to say. They will finally come back to where we were. We will give them time to go in circles and talk, but they will realise this was done for the interest of children of this country."

Before Magoha became Education CS, he had served as the chairman of the examinations body.

"When Prof Magoha's tenure expired at the University of Nairobi, I knew he was the right person to assist in the reform of our examinations. I assigned him to be the chairman of Kenya National Examinations Council," Uhuru said.

He eulogised Magoha as a man who exhibited passion and dedicated his energy to restoring sanity in the education sector. 

The former President was accompanied by Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, former First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and former CSs who served together with Magoha. 

They included Fred Matiang'i, Ukur Yattani, Eugene Wamalwa, Joe Mucheru, and former Interior PS Karanja Kibicho, among others.

Uhuru hailed Magoha for always speaking his mind "irrespective of what people said about him."

"He did not fear speaking the truth, even those that you would not wish to hear. You may disagree but he had to have his say.

"He deserved that position. He even addressed the curriculum challenges we were facing. He did not do it to hate anyone, but for the interest of children of this country," Uhuru said.

Kalonzo said even with his firm stand and hands-on style, Magoha did it for the betterment of the country. "He was ready to prepare the children’s future, which was radically different from the one we were in. I tried while Education Minister with my soft stance but could not contain the situation in the docket."

Dr Matiang’i urged schools to find a way to immortalise Magoha.

"I wish those in authority and our learning institutions will be able to find a way of keeping Magoha’s name alive. We, as former colleagues, will ensure we support those children he was educating."

Financial Standard
Premium Ghosts of the past return to haunt Davis Chirchir
By Brian Ngugi 35 mins ago
More pain for borrowers as key lending rate hits five-year high
By XN Iraki 4 hrs ago
Financial Standard
Premium Ignore China-Russia alliance at your peril
By Ian Dennis 7 hrs ago
Premium I built a beauty empire from scratch and sold it for millions
The Standard
Make this Easter memorable with our KES999 annual offer!