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A tear for Fidel Castro Odinga

Tears flowed freely as family and friends gathered at the All Saints Anglican Church of Kenya cathedral in Nairobi Thursday to celebrate the life of Fidel Odinga who died in unclear circumstances last Sunday.

The somber requiem mass brought together who is who in the Kenyan politics and business sector.

Mourners were moved to tears when an Fidel’s widow Lwam Getachew Bekele, who spoke briefly in Queen’s English accent, was overcome by emotions and was unable to read a touching tribute she had penned to her late husband.It was read by another family member.

Speaker after speaker eulogized Fidel as a man who looked beyond tribe and social classes while making friends. Fidel, who died at 41, will be laid to rest on Saturday in Bondo, Siaya County.

Here’s what some of the speakers had to say about the late Fidel:

Uhuru Kenyatta (president): Fidel called me sometime in December for us to meet and it is unfortunate that the meeting never came to pass . We have lost a great son and we are all here to share this moment with the family. We need one another, less of shouting at each other and more of talking to each other, that is what Fidel was really great at. I promise you the Government will follow to the end until we establish what happened to Fidel. May the almighty God rest his soul in eternal peace.

Raila Odinga (father): I feel very delighted to see all of you here and I thank you for coming to share this moment with us. Fidel was a very cheerful child.

Ida Odinga (mother): Raila wanted Fidel to be an engineer but Fidel had his own plans. Lwam, you are an Odinga and that is what you shall remain.

Lwam Getachew Bekele (wife): I would like to thank everyone for being here. (read on her behalf by a family member). My love where do I even begin? Six years ago I met my 6ft prince charming, your generous spirit will go a long way, you melted my heart with your kindness, the swiftness of your departure remains shocking to me, but I cannot question God. Till we meet again. My love. My husband.

President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) consoles ODM and Cord leader Raila Odinga during Fidel Odinga's funeral service at the All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi. With them is Mr Odinga’s elder brother, Oburu Oginga.
President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) consoles ODM and Cord leader Raila Odinga during Fidel Odinga’s funeral service at the All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi. With them is Mr Odinga’s elder brother, Oburu Oginga.

Kalonzo Musyoka (Cord co-principal): Isn’t it so amazing that the whole nation is here? Those of you in the family should be comforted, Fidel’s name will never be forgotten.

Oburu Oginga (uncle): Fidel was a bridge, not only between our family but all our friends. I can only compare Fidel’s funeral to the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. Many think that Fidel is being mourned because he is the former Prime Ministers’ son. But I can tell you today that Fidel is being mourned on his own account and record.

Moses Wetangula (Cord co-principal): We celebrate the life of Fidel. We salute his parents for bringing him to be amongst us.

Fidel Odinga’s niece: He was by my side whenever I was sad.