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Why Uhuru wants leaders to emulate Karanja Kabage

Friday July 12 2019

BAYA SAMUEL
By BAYA SAMUEL
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JOSEPH OPENDA
By JOSEPH OPENDA
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Leaders eulogised lawyer, politician and businessman Karanja Kabage as a resilient, hardworking, sociable and determined person at his burial in Nakuru County on Friday.

Mr Kabage was involved in an accident near his home in Karen, Nairobi, on the night of July 5 and was pronounced dead on arrival at Nairobi Hospital. A postmortem showed the 70-year-old suffered a heart attack.

Among those who attended the funeral were President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga and Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi.

NO POLITICKING

In his address, President Kenyatta asked leaders to imitate Mr Kabage's hardworking nature by concentrating on development and ending focus on political matters surrounding the 2022 general election.

The President asked the leaders to "stop this endless politics because it is not helping us in anyway" and because it's time has not yet come. 

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Ruto at Kabage burial

Deputy President William Ruto, Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui and other officials at Mangu-Rongai village in Nakuru for the burial of lawyer, politician and businessman Karanja Kabage, July 12, 2019. PHOTO | JOHN NJOROGE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Mr Kenyatta noted that the lawyer was determined and persistent in matters development and that he followed up on projects such as road construction.

"He was a full patriot. We are here to bury a hero for this country; a person who devoted himself to changing lives and our country through his numerous sectors including the insurance sector. We can say without fear that he worked hard to earn his living but also ran several initiatives that touched on the lives of Kenyans," Mr Kenyatta said.

"The only [way to show] respect is to imitate him. We should not look at ourselves but at the people. If you are a politician, [look at the people]. If we commit ourselves to that, we shall progress. Let us love each other as Kenyans. We should end tribalism so that we can  progress".

He announced that the construction of an airport in Laney will begin before the end of the year.

Leaders at Kabage burial

President Uhuru Kenyatta, DP William Ruto and Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui arrive at Mangu-Rongai village in Nakuru County for the burial of lawyer, politician and businessman Karanja Kabage, July 12, 2019. PHOTO | JOHN NJOROGE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

INTEGRITY

DP Ruto said he met Mr Kabage, whom he fondly referred to as ‘KK’, 28 years ago after his university studies.

“In 1993 I met him running a very successful insurance brokerage firm. He inspired us to start an insurance firm and progressively we followed his steps," Dr Ruto told mourners at Mangu-Rongai village.

"He was a great mentor. I can attest to his integrity. We are burying a man who made great strides in driving this country forward," he said, adding Kenya has suffered a great loss.

Uhuru at Kabage burial

President Uhuru Kenyatta greets mourners at a service ahead of the burial of lawyer Karanja Kabage at Mangu-Rongai village in Nakuru County on July 12, 2019. PHOTO | PSCU

PATRIOTISM

Mr Odinga said Mr Kabage loved people and was patriotic.

“He helped many young people get educated. He was an expert in nuclear energy; he came to my office when I was a minister for energy and we discussed a lot about nuclear power,” he said.

"Karanja was a real hustler because he even went back to university. He was against tenderpreneurs and fought to end corruption. He was a true Kenyan patriot."

The ODM leader further noted that Mr Kabage preferred to conduct businesses "the right way - without corruption".

He asked Kenyans to take after him and build a nation free of graft and where people are free to work and live anywhere.

Leaders at Kabage burial

President Uhuru Kenyatta, DP William Ruto, Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, ODM leader Raila Odinga and ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi attend a service ahead of the burial of lawyer Karanja Kabage at Mangu-Rongai village in Nakuru County on July 12, 2019. PHOTO | PSCU

'NEAT LIFE'

Mr Mudavadi said Mr Kabage was "neat" in all aspects of life.

“He wanted neat politics, neat business and neat ideas, and was always orderly. He met everyone from every part of the country because he knew no boundaries," the ANC boss said.

“His dream was to have a country that would grow like Singapore. When I was in Treasury I spent a lot of time with him because he gave a lot of ideas. A good man is gone."

Several governors, Cabinet and principal secretaries, members of Parliament, senators and other leaders attended the burial.