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Oburu Oginga recounts light moments at Jaramogi’s memorial

By RUSHDIE OUDIA and ISAIAH GWENGI | February 2nd 2014


There were light moments at the memorial service of the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.

Nominated MP, and the eldest son to Jaramogi, Oburu Oginga who spoke on behalf of the family brought back memories of his father.

Oburu described Jaramogi as caring and one who took care of them ensuring that they acquire quality education. He said in their family, any member who has not acquired quality education will only blame himself.

“My father thanked me for liking education and for having mentored my siblings,” said Oburu. The nominated MP praised his father for having given them a good life and described him as a good farmer who made them balance education and farming when they were growing up.

He said Jaramogi who was a cotton farmer who ensured that they remove tree stumps from their farms and harvest the same crop.

He said Jaramogi was a disciplinarian but was keen to know why someone had made a mistake before punishing him or her.

There were light moments when Oburu narrated how at one point former Prime Minister Raila Odinga met their father’s wrath when he absconded duties that had been assigned to him.

“Raila overslept and when asked to give reasons why he did not perform his duties, he told Jaramogi to do it himself so that he may experience how difficult the job was,” said Oburu amid laughter from the congregation at St Peter’s Nyamira Parish.

His father beat Raila till a neighbour intervened.

“He had measured punishment unlike my mother who could give you an uncountable number of canes,” said Oburu.

He took a swipe at Raila again, saying the former PM loved pepper and would put it on any food he cooked.

“I used to cook ugali but feared that when Raila is given a chance to cook the main meal, I would not eat it,” said Oburu.

He added that their father taught them how to cook and he would not have a problem if any of his wives ran away.

Oburu described his father as a politician who respected women and would be happy to see how they have been given a chance in Kenya.

He said Jaramogi never supported communism but was keen on everything that could benefit the people.

“My father sacrificed for what Kenyans are enjoying today. Jaramogi was the best president Kenyans never had,” he added.

Some of the leaders who joined the Odinga family in commemorating 20 years since Jaramogi died were nominated Senator Dr Agnes Zani, Kisumu, Senator Anyang Nyongo and Otieno Kajwang (Homa Bay), Governors Jackton, Ranguma (KIsumu) and Cornel Rasanga (Siaya). MPs were Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo, TJ Kajwang (Ruaraka), John Mbadi (Suba), Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja), Paul Otuoma, Gideon Ochanda (Bondo),

Nicholas Gumbo (Rarieda), Junet Mohamed (Suna East), Migori Women Representative Dennita Ghati and former Nairobi Mayor George Aladwa among others. Ten bulls were slaughtered to feed guests at the ceremony that started on Friday.


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