Politicians, scholars and professionals from across the country yesterday paid tribute to fallen diplomat Dr Benjamin Kipkorir, who was buried at his Kapchelng’a home in Elgeyo Marakwet.
Mourners described him as a dedicated public servant, a good banker, academician, diplomat and philanthropist who contributed immensely to the development of the country.
In a speech read by Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, former President Daniel arap Moi said the nation had been robbed of a brilliant son who contributed in a big way in every field that he served.
Moi pointed out Kipkorir’s excellence in the banking sector where he worked as the Executive Chairman of Kenya Commercial Bank.
“I also feel a personal loss with the demise of Dr Kipkorir. I contributed to his academic life when I taught him at Tambach, I saw his great potential which he significantly accomplished,” the former President said.
In his eulogy, Gideon described Kipkorir as a distinguished public servant. “Kipkorir maintained his good sense of humour and never lost his uprightness, integrity and honesty in and out of service and should be an example to all leaders who want to change the world positively,” said Gideon.
Kabianga University Chancellor Prof Richard Musangi said Kipkorir, who he worked at the University of Nairobi, was instrumental in the contribution of knowledge. He churned out publications that have impacted the world positively.
“Kipkorir was a brave scholar who fulfilled everything he felt would benefit the society. We lived in the era of ‘publish or perish’ when there was limited freedom of information but he still published great articles,” said Musangi.
Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat said Kipkorir was the sunrise of the Marakwet community, Kenya and the world and will forever live on through his works. “He left a rising star at whichever capacity he served and I have faith that in the next stage of life, his star will still be shining,” said ambassador Kiplagat.
Former Aldai MP Sally Kosgey eulogised Kipkorir as an astute academician who contributed a lot to her climbing up the academic ladder having been her supervisor at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.
Kerio Valley Development Authority Managing Director David Kimosop said Kipkorir’s contribution to the banking sector will never be forgotten.
“He facilitated increased access to banking facilities by opening many branches across the region. This enabled more people to access funds and financial knowledge,” said Kimosop. Kenya Commercial Bank Group Chairman Ngeny Biwott said most of the bank’s unique services and products were founded by the late, who initiated Information Technology (IT) service provision platforms. “He is the man who respected gender issues and allowed women to access loans. He believed in empowering the people which led to great economic milestones,” he said.
Counsel George Oraro described him as honest person with integrity, adding his publications have been instrumental in key aspects like devolution.
Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu described the late as a cherished social worker who brought light to the world through academics and initiation of unique approaches to improve human lives.
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Marakwet West MP William Kisang said Kipkorir had contributed greatly to the growth of society through his writings and services to the community.
He promised to engage the Community Development Fund committee to decide if they would spend some funds to complete a library he was building in the area.
Nominated Senator Oburu Odinga said Kipkorir was a personal friend besides being a friend of his late father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, with whom they they had a common vision.
“Kipkorir knew no tribal boundaries and couldn’t be intimidated. He visited our father who was strongly in opposition during the Nyayo regime when everyone else feared associating with the opposition,” said Oburu.
Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos and Marakwet East MP Kangogo Bowen said the late helped preserve the Marakwet culture and shared unique features with the outside world through his historical publications.
“We were inspired by his acts of humility and equal service to all since our childhood and he deserves credit for what we have achieved so far,” said Kangogo.