BY GEORGE ORIDO
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has sent a message of condolence to family and friends of Zeituni Onyango Obama who passed on in Boston Massachusetts, Tuesday.
In a message sent to The Standard from his recess in Boston, Raila said the news of Zeituni’s death was shocking.
"I've today learnt of the passing on of Zeituni Onyango Obama with grief and great sense of loss,” he said.
He remembered his last moments with the 62-year-old daughter of Barack Obama Senior in hospital.
“When I recently visited her at the hospital, Zeituni was a cheerful lady, who with brevity bore the illness knowing so well that hers was a terminal condition”, Raila said.
“I take this earliest opportunity to send my heartfelt condolences to the entire Obama Family including Mama Sarah Obama, President Obama and First Lady Mitchel, relatives, friends and all Kenyans. May The Lord peacefully rest Zeituni's soul," Raila added.
Zeituni had won a dueling battle of deportation after a US court granted her asylum recently.
“Today, we mourn together with the Obama Family and The People of The Great Republic of Kenya the passing on of Ms. Zeituni Onyango Obama,” he said adding that even as we pray that The Lord grants the family, friends and relatives the grace to accept the loss, we remain strengthened by the fact that Zeituni was so strong-willed throughout and forever believed that the spirit of the resilient spirit of the Kenyan youth which propelled Barack Obama Snr to greater heights, still lives.
He said as a Kenyan youth, he together with his compatriots will strive to keep that spirit alive.
Zeituni’s cousin Engineer Charles Ochome said that the family had lost a family mentor and matriarch who was in many ways their role model.
According to family members, a decision will be made to decide whether she will buried in the USA or be brought back home in Kenya according to Luo traditions.