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Glowing tributes as leaders recall Kiplagat’s generosity

By Julius Chepkwony | February 20th 2021

The burial service of Former Cooperative Bank Chairman Hosea Kiplagat at Cheplambus in Baringo Central. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Former Cooperative Bank chairman and long-serving Kanu party Baringo Executive Officer Hosea Kiplagat was yesterday buried in an emotional ceremony at his Cheplambus home in Tenges ward, Baringo Central. 

Leaders and residents paid their last respects to the 71-year-old who died on February 6, after suffering a heart attack.

Deputy President William Ruto, Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina, governors Stanley Kiptis (Baringo), Josephat Nanok (Turkana), Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru), and Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui attended the burial.

Baringo Woman Representative Gladwell Cheruiyot, Baringo Central MP Joshua Kandie and other county leaders were also present.

Eulogising Kiplagat, the leaders called for unity in the country and service to the people.

Kiplagat was part of influential personalities from Baringo District (now Baringo County) who were in the inner circle of President Daniel arap Moi’s administration.

He rose from a prison warder to the centre of power and flourished as a businessman.

It was his business acumen that caught the eye of the late President Moi.

Senator Gideon delivered President Uhuru Kenyatta’s message of condolences. Uhuru described Kiplagat as a man who loved progress and was committed to empowering the community.

“He will be remembered for introducing macadamia farming in Baringo County,” read President Kenyatta’s message, adding that Kiplagat was instrumental in the growth of the Cooperative Bank of Kenya where he served as the chairman for nine years.

Zeal to serve

It is because of his achievements and zeal to serve the community that Kiplagat was awarded various honours by the late President Moi. Among the honours were the Chief of Burning Spear, Elder of Burning Spear and Silver Star.

Gideon described Kiplagat as a friend and a hardworking, generous man.

“Kiplagat was a dear friend. Everything said about him is absolutely true. He was an exemplary man.... He assisted me even in my political journey,” Gideon said.

Gideon recalled that he was with Kiplagat a week before he died and was shocked to hear he was no more since he looked healthy.

Gideon said he was for the unity of leaders, telling residents he was working to have major roads in the region fixed.

He said a tender for the Ainabmoi-Kapkelewa-Kapkaiwa-Tenges road had been advertised. Tender for the Kiptilit-Seretunin-Talai-Kasisit-Kampi Samaki road, he said, had also been advertised.

Deputy President William Ruto described Kiplagat as a humble and hardworking man who did a lot to serve the people.

He remembered Kiplagat as the man who made it possible for him and other students while at the university to access President Moi.

“We were beneficiaries of his connection to President Moi,” Ruto said.

He added: “Hosea served Moi as a representative of his constituency. When Moi’s history will be written, Hosea will have a chapter. That book will not be complete without a chapter of Hosea.”

Ruto said even in death, Kiplagat was a great inspiration and challenged other people to emulate his deeds.

Leaders, he said, should ensure they change the lives of the people for the better.

“It is upon us leaders to ensure every Kenyan has a way of being someone in this nation. We can have a nation in which all of us can be something,” he said.

Former Moi press secretary Lee Njiru said though people would bury Kiplagat in the soil, he would bury him in his heart. He said he was Kiplagat’s speech-writer when Kiplagat was chairman at the Cooperative Bank.

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