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Friends of Fidel raise cash for family

Wednesday January 7 2015

Cord Leader Raila Odinga arriving at Lee Funeral Home in Nairobi on January 4,2015 where the body of his son Fidel Odinga lies. Fidel was on Sunday morning found dead in his House in Karen. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

From left: Mathare MP Stephen Kariuki, Mr Mabior Garang de Mabior, Mr Amor Thige and Mr Thomas Mariwa during the farewell party and fundraising for Fidel Odinga Trust at Cedars Club in Nairobi on Tuesday. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Friends of Fidel Castro Odinga gathered at Cedars Restaurant on Nairobi’s Lenana Road on Tuesday evening to celebrate his life and raise money for his family.

The group included youthful politicians, businessmen, sportsmen, entertainers, close relatives and friends.

This was the first meeting held by the group to reflect on the moments they shared with Fidel as well as fundraise for the Fidel Odinga Trust, said the group’s secretary, Ms Yvonne Khamati.

“As peers of Fidel, culture allows us to participate in sending off one of us, even as the rest of the funeral committee continues with the rest of the arrangements,” she said.

“We are fundraising for Fidel’s trust fund, mainly because he has left a child and a widow behind.”

Among the politicians at the fundraiser were Nairobi Deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke, Mathare MP Stephen Kariuki, former MP Gitobu Imanyara and former Kamukunji parliamentary aspirant Brian Weke.

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Close relatives included Fidel’s aunt Ruth, brother Raila Odinga Jnr and sister Winnie Odinga.

They were joined by artiste Prezzo aka Jackson Makini, businessman ‘Sir’ Henry Otiende, his friend Steve Orengo and news anchor Swaleh Mdoe.

The event started at about 7pm with short speeches followed by speakers sharing memories of their last moments with Fidel.

However, when Fidel’s aunt Ruth spoke, it became clear which direction Fidel took as far as politics is concerned.

“The last phone conversation I had with Fidel last week was very interesting,” she said. “Fidel said he wanted me and him to travel to Homa Bay this week to campaign for Hillary Alila.”

Mr Alila is an independent candidate in the race for the senatorial seat in Homa Bay. The seat fell vacant after the death of Senator Otieno Kajwang’.

ODM has given Mr Moses Kajwang’ a direct nomination to run for the same seat. 

President Kenyatta was among those who sent contributions.