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A village in Suba will hold a night vigil in honour of the departed president Daniel arap Moi for recognising their son for outstanding achievements.

Odunga Kasuku from Olando village in Suba, Homa Bay County, was honoured by Moi in 1984 with a Head of State Commendation.

Kasuku, who died last year, was a Class Three drop-out who rose from being a peasant farmer to the millionaire owner of Kasuku Garments, a textile company based in Kisumu.

Earning a State commendation in the 1980s was an enviable fete. Residents of Olando said the recognition opened floodgates of opportunities for them.

Moi died at the Nairobi Hospital on Tuesday morning aged 96 years. The larger Kasuku family said it would organise the vigil.

The accolade was sent to Kasuku's home that is adjacent to Ruma National Park. It was delivered by then Nyanza Provincial Commissioner Francis Cherogony.

Kasuku Garments was one of the biggest textile factories in Nyanza in the 1980s.

The firm won contracts to produce uniforms for Kenya Prisons Services several times.

Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (Lappset) corridor Chief Executive Officer Sylvester Kasuku is a member of the family.

In an interview yesterday, Sylvester recalled Moi frequenting the older Kasuku’s home to be entertained and to get the latest information on what was happening locally. “Moi was well known in this village because of Kasuku. He loved Kasuku because he told jokes and made him laugh,” Sylvester said.

Sylvester said with time Moi became a family friend who would pop into Kasuku's home unannounced. “At times Kasuku surprised Moi with Kaunda suits, which he delivered at Nakuru State Lodge,” he said, adding: “There are many wedding and graduation ceremonies that Moi attended in the Kasuku family."

As a result of the friendship, Kasuku clinched many government contracts, which not only changed the fortunes of his family but also created employment for Olando residents.

The gazettment of Ruma National Park was a result of this friendship. Seif Koburu, a Suba resident, said, Moi put the area on the world map by gazetting the national park.

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Odunga Kasuku Olando village
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