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Emotions run high as plane with Prof Ali Mazrui body touches down

By Philip Mwakio | Oct 20th 2014 | 2 min read

A somber mood engulfed the Moi International Airport yesterday morning when a Turkish Boeing 737 Airliner from Istanbul carrying the remains of celebrated global scholar and writer Prof Ali Mazrui touched down.

Mombasa leaders led by Governor Ali Hassan Joho were united in grief as they received the body which had been accompanied on its final journey by the deceased's wife, Mariam and sons Farid Chinedu and Harith Okechukwu.

Prof Al Amin Mazrui, a nephew of the deceased was also on the same plane that carried Mazrui’s body.

The plane landed at 2.35am and after passengers disembarked, the casket bearing Mazrui’s body was removed from the plane's cargo hold and draped in the Kenyan flag.

Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, Mombasa County Commissioner Nelson Marwa, Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar, former chief Kadhi Kassim Hammad, Kisauni MP Rashid Bedzimba and Mombasa businessman Suleiman Shahbal were present.

Sheikh Hammad conducted brief prayers before the casket bearing the body of the fallen professor was put into a hearse belonging to the Sunni Punjabi Organisation.

The convoy of over 50 vehicles led by police and Mombasa County Inspectorate team left the airport at exactly 3.30 am.

It snaked its way past Changamwe, Makupa Causeway into Jomo Kenyatta avenue before branching off into Nkrumah road for the family's home in Kibokoni Old town.

The late scholar was an Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities and the Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York.

He was the first non-president chancellor of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology after the Moi era. He was born in Mombasa in 1933.

President Uhuru Kenyatta in his message of condolence to the family described Mazrui as a towering academician whose intellectual contributions played a major role in shaping African scholarship.

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