Leaders across the political divide mourned Homa Bay Senator Otieno Kajwang’, who died Tuesday night after suffering cardiac arrest.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said the death of Kajwang’ is a big blow to his family, the people of Homa Bay County and the whole country.
“It is hard to comprehend how the cruel hand of death has so suddenly snatched Senator Kajwang’ from our midst. He was an energetic, jovial and an extremely pleasant person to deal with,” said the President in a statement on Wednesday.
He said he will always remember Senator Kajwang’ as an eloquent debater, a patriot and a nationalist.
Cord leader Raila Odinga called his death a terrible loss to ODM and Cord and sent a message of condolence to his family and party members.
“Senator Kajwang’ was a very strong and dedicated member. In (the) Senate he was a great debater. He was an active member nationally and internationally. We join family in mourning this very painful loss of a colleague and patriot,” said the former prime minister.
Deputy President William Ruto sent a message of condolence to the family and people of Homa Bay County.
“He was an astute, dedicated, passionate and humorous politician. We have lost a steadfast leader whose contribution to good governance and democracy in the country is evident. May the Lord rest his soul in eternal peace,” said Mr Ruto in a post on his official Facebook page.
Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula mourned Kajwang’ and recalled when they met at a local university as students.
“I have known Senator Kajwang’ since our University days as a brilliant young budding Kenyan with (a) great gift in articulation.
“In the (S)enate he was a charismatic speaker. His mapambano tune is a signature tune across homes in Kenya. Every rally and public fora we had Wananchi demanded he speaks. We have lost a friend and a true believer of our cause as the Coalition,” said Mr Wetang’ula.
Kisumu Senator Anyang' Nyong'o who is attending the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference in London said Kajwang’s death is a big loss to the Cord fraternity.
“That humour, exuberance and energy is gone just like that! The CORD fraternity has lost a valiant soldier. Kenya has lost a patriot,” he said in a statement Wednesday.
Kakamega County Senator Boni Khalwale said Kajwang’ was relentless in serving Kenyans.
“My brother and comrade in arms, the late senator Otieno Kajwang’ was relentless in serving Kenyans. Am so saddened. God help us!” he tweeted.
Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr tweeted: “Rest in peace my brother, learned friend and senator, Otieno Kajwang’. Mapambano mbinguni."
Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen said he was shocked by the news of the death of the senator.
"So shocked that my colleague and friend Senator Kajwang' has passed on. Will remember him as (a) passionate and eloquent debater. A man full of life and humour," Mr Murkomen posted on his official Twitter handle.
In a post on his Facebook page, Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar described Kajwang’ as a “meticulous orator with extraordinary humour, unwavering in … his political position with a sound sense of ideological clarity."