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Eastleigh road named after Yusuf Haji

First Avenue in Eastleigh, Nairobi, will soon be renamed Yusuf Haji Road in honour of the late Garissa Senator.

This follows approval by the Nairobi County Assembly on Tuesday of a motion calling for the renaming of a road in Nairobi in tribute of the late Defence Minister.

Nairobi Assembly Majority Leader Abdi Guyo, the mover of the motion, said the county assembly has been in discussion with Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) over the process with the Major General Mohamed Badi-led administration settling on the road in Eastleigh.

“This (the renaming) will be effected in the next two weeks because we are already in agreement with NMS. It was something that we had discussed even before we brought the motion so it will be implemented. NMS has identified First Avenue in Eastleigh,” said Guyo.

The Matopeni MCA said the move will be a fitting tribute to a man who selflessly served Kenya in various positions for 55 years before his passing on. Mzee Haji passed on last month aged 80 years.

Guyo described the late senator as a man of high standing in the society whose spirit of servant-leadership he espoused is admired not only by Nairobi leaders but by most politicians across the country.

The Majority leader hailed Haji for his peace efforts in Somalia and beyond during his stint as the Minister for Defense in 2002 and for his exceptional negotiations and mediation skills, attributes which saw the late senator tapped to lead the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) taskforce.

“The service the late senator rendered for this country is enough for him to be honoured. Haji’s rise to the top from a public administration officer, Ijara MP, to assistant minister and later a minister is no small feat,” he said.

Minority Whip Peter Imwatok said Nairobi, being a place where Mzee Haji lived for half of his life while undertaking public service tasks, must not forget one of its illustrious public servants.

“We want a road and not a lane named after Haji so that it is known that this is a road named after a man who changed this country,” said Imwatok.

Kariobangi South MCA Robert Mbatia remembered Haji as a firm and strict timekeeper having worked with the late in 2011.

“He was very firm and a strict timekeeper. If we continue to honor these leaders then our children will pick their positive attributes,” said Mbatia.

Nominated MCA Mary Arivitsa said that it was not enough to rename a road after him and that there was the need to put up a hall of fame or a museum where great leaders would be honored.

A number of roads in Nairobi have been renamed in honour of men and women of great standing in the country including Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai, Cardinal Maurice Otunga and Charles Rubia, among others.