President Uhuru Kenyatta pays tribute to Fidel Odinga
| January 8th 2015
NAIROBI, KENYA —President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday paid tribute to Fidel Castro Odinga, son of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who passed away on January 4th.
President Kenyatta said Kenyans can learn and benefit from Fidel’s life because he was a person who did not use tribe or religion as a guide in building links with other people.
“We can learn a lot from Fidel’s life which we can use to heal our country. He bore no grudges,” he said.
The President said Fidel was a man who knew how to cross political, religious and ethnic divides and could reach out to anyone he wanted to.
“We need less shouting at each other and more of talking with one another. Like Fidel, let us talk with one another and not at each other,” said President Kenyatta when he paid his tribute to Fidel at a funeral service held at The All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi.
The President said Fidel was a personal friend and his accounts of him were from personal experience.
“In December he called me and he wanted us to meet and I agreed, but unfortunately that never came to pass,” he said.
The President said he has no problem bringing Kenyans together and urged citizens to emulate the late Fidel who was not inhibited by tribal or political affiliations.
President Kenyatta said the Government will undertake all measures to ensure the cause of death of Fidel.
Deputy President William Ruto also described the late Fidel as a person who had desirable qualities with a positive outlook on life.
“Fidel was a young Kenyan who had a great heart, a positive future and held a lot of promise for Kenya,” said the Deputy President.
The Deputy President said Fidel’s good character can be known from the kind of friends he kept.
“People from all ethnicities, religions and political affiliations were friends of Fidel,” he said.
Former President Mwai Kibaki also sent his tribute in which he described Fidel as a man who had a horizon full of opportunities before him.
The former Presidents said it was unfortunate that Fidel had passed on just when he had started increasing his involvement in public affairs. “You brought up a man of the people,” he said.
Mr Odinga and Ida Odinga described their son as a jovial man who was a pillar in their family.
Dr Oburu Odinga said he viewed Fidel more like Raila’s brother rather than his son. “He was always by his side, whether it was a political function or a social gathering.
The funeral service was also addressed by former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetangula.
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