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Former Transport assistant minister Seth Lugonzo dies after long battle with diabetes

By Alex Wakhisi | April 28th 2016 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Former Transport and Communication Assistant Minister Seth Lugonzo is dead.

Born in 1929, Mr Lugonzo died yesterday of a heart attack at Mediheal Hospital in Eldoret.

According to his son, Joshua Lugonzo, the former Ikolomani MP has been battling diabetes for a long time.

"For a long time, he has been suffering from diabetes. The situation got worse last week. He was admitted at Nala Hospital in Kakamega but later referred to Mediheal Hospital in Eldoret where he died," said Joshua.

During his tenure as MP for the larger Ikolomani Constituency (now Ikolomani and Shinyalu), Mr Lugonzo tabled a motion against tribalism and nepotism in the country.

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"During the regime of Jomo Kenyatta, he sponsored a motion to fight tribalism and nepotism in the country. He also fought corruption. Unfortunately, his motion did not see the light of the day," he said.

During President Daniel arap Moi's regime, Lugonzo proposed for each province to be accorded a privilege to elect a President after every five years.

His proposal did not go down well with Moi, and the two fell out.

"He proposed a revolving system of presidency but his proposal was quashed by officials in the then government," said Joshua.

He added: "He was a person who spoke his mind regardless of his position. He was among the pioneer members of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and chairman of Kanu in the then Kakamega District, which made a darling of the former presidents; Jomo Kenyatta and Mr Moi."

Leaders from the region led by Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Senator Boni Khalwale led Kenyans to condole with his family.

Mr Oparanya termed Lugonzo as a leader who spearheaded reforms in the education sector.

He said Lugonzo's love for education made him extend his generosity to the society by sponsoring many young people to pursue education in higher levels of learning.

"Lugonzo will be remembered for being the pioneer and first principal of Musingu Boys High School. He was the brain behind the establishment of Lirhembe Academy, Shikoti Polytechnic, Lirhembe Girls Secondary School and Lirhembe Mixed Secondary School," said Oparanya.

Pioneer farmer

"As a renowned farmer, Lugonzo leaves a legacy of being the first person to introduce dairy farming in Ikolomani, which led to the establishment of Shikokho Dairy Corporative Society," he added.

The former assistant minister in the Moi regime contributed immensely in the transformation of the country from a one single party system to a multi-party democracy.

Dr Khalwale said Lugonzo was a man of vision for the education sector.

"On behalf of the people of Kakamega, I send my condolences to the family and friends of Lugonzo. He will be remembered for championing for education in the region," he said. 

Lugonzo was born in Lirhembe village, studied at Musingu Primary before joining Maseno and Alliance Boys for his secondary school studies.

He later enrolled at Kigumo Teachers Training College after which he was deployed to teach at Nyang'ori Primary School, Kaimosi Primary, Musingu Primary then Musingu High School as the founder principal.

He joined politics in 1963 when he unsuccessfully contested for Ikolomani seat. In 1966, he was appointed to the East Africa Legislative Council to represent Kenya.

In 1969 he contested and won Ikolomani seat then lost it to Clement Lubembe in 1974 but recaptured it in 1983.

death Seth Lugonzo tribalism Mzee Jomo Kenyatta Daniel arap Moi
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