Veteran politician and former long serving Cabinet minister Dr William Odongo Omamo has died, aged 82.
He made his mark in politics when he replaced the doyen of opposition politics Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, who had been detained after falling out with president Jomo Kenyatta, as Bondo MP in 1969 on a Kanu ticket.
In his condolence message, Prime Minister Raila Odinga said his death came "as a shock and a surprise to me and the whole country".
Renown for his oratory skills, Dr Omamo, fondly referred to as Kaliech (elephant), had been ailing for some time. He died on Tuesday morning.
His body was removed to the Lee Funeral Home, Nairobi.
He was the first African Principal of the then Egerton Agricultural College, the modern day Egerton University and according to the PM "set the institution on the firm foundation that has made it what it is today".
"His death is particularly a loss to the people of Bondo where he began his political career and Nyanza where he was part and parcel of the political landscape from the time country held the second general election in 1969.
"As Cabinet Minister in various ministries in independent Kenya, Omamo contributed to the making of the Kenyan nation. It is sad that the nation will not benefit from his wisdom as we embark on the final leg of our long search for a new constitution," said Mr Odinga in his message.