Leaders on Thursday were full of praise for Internal Security assistant minister Joshua Orwa Ojodeh who died last Sunday in a helicopter crash.
While reflecting on the life and times of Mr Ojodeh, the leaders described him as a hero and a friend.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga reiterated that no stone would be left unturned in unravelling the cause of the crash in Ngong Forest that claimed Mr Ojodeh, Internal Security minister George Saitoti, their two bodyguards and two pilots.
President Kibaki, Mr Odinga, Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende, Rangwe MP Martin Ogindo, former Migori MP Owino Acholla and Pastor Francis Njau were among those who paid tribute to Mr Ojodeh during a requiem Mass at Nairobi Central Seventh Day Adventist Church.
President Kibaki told mourners that the Ndhiwa MP was not just a political friend but a personal friend.
The President described Mr Ojodeh as a “highly regarded leader” who, through “great sacrifice and effort”, promoted peace in the country.
“This is sad day for Kenya. We have lost a leader, a patriot, a selfless individual and a servant of the people,” he said.
The Head of State said the best way to honour Mr Ojodeh was to ensure the communal harmony that he preached relentlessly.
Mr Odinga said Mr Ojodeh was the bond that held both sides of the coalition, and never played partisan politics.
The PM said Mr Ojodeh had questioned why he was not given a full ministerial position when the coalition was formed in 2008 “but we discussed the matter and he said he could serve in any capacity”.
“In Parliament, he was an able minister. Since 70 per cent of questions are directed to the Internal Security ministry, he confronted MPs and defended the police.
He was the face of government and practised the principle of collective responsibility,” Mr Odinga said.
“We must know what really caused the death of Ojodeh and Saitoti,” he said, adding that the two ran a difficult docket.
Mr Musyoka said Mr Ojodeh’s politics went “beyond party affiliation”.
The VP, who chairs a committee organising the burial of the six crash victims, said Kenyans should emulate the way Mr Ojodeh served the country to honour him.
Mr Marende said the country could not afford to continue losing its citizens through accidents and that the aviation industry should be checked.
He likened Mr Ojodeh to the biblical Joshua who led the “people of God to the promised land”.
The casket carrying Mr Ojodeh’s body will be flown to Ndhiwa today ahead of burial on Sunday.
Mr Ojodeh leaves behind a widow, Mary, and a 21-year-old son, Andy Ojodeh.