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Fidel’s big send-off

Thousands of mourners, including political leaders from within and across the boarders, converged at Kang’o Ka Jaramogi, Nyamira village in Siaya county on Saturday for the burial of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s firstborn son Fidel Odinga.

The young Odinga was buried a few minutes after 4pm alongside his relatives in strict adherence to the Odinga family tradition of burying its members at the site.

The Anglican Church of Kenya led thousands of mourners for the final mass at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology.

The procession from the college grounds then proceeded to the cemetery which is situated about 10 kilometres from the university.

Family members described their late son Fidel Odinga as a beautiful person whose loss will take long to overcome.

The Cord leader Raila Odinga said his departed son was a pride of the entire family of the late Jaramogi Oginga.

MEMOIRS

Mr Odinga led the family in appreciating the condolences from friends and family, said the 41 year old was at the same time a pride of the Odinga’s.

“This was a polite, respectful and hardworking honest man who had no enemies in this country,” said Mr Odinga. “My son has left behind a young boy who will always remind me of the struggle that we are yet to accomplish.”.

Mama Ida Odinga said Fidel’s life was shaped by the struggles the family endured during Raila’s prolonged incarceration following the 1982 attempted coup.

Mrs Odinga said it was difficult talking about the son who had a habit of keeping his family closely knit as well as his father who was at that time engaged in the fight for the second liberation.

“Many people think that Fidel was born when the father was already a Prime Minister; this boy lived for more than 19 years without the glamour that people associated him with,” said Ms Odinga.

The former prime minister’s wife said she will put the memoirs of her son in a book when the dust of the pains of the death settles.

HIGH PROFILE GUESTS

Fidel’s siblings Rosemary, Raila Junior as well as uncles also showered praises of their departed brother saying they will miss the happy times they shared together.

Ms Rosemary Odinga stirred the crowd with a rendition of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song – his brother favourite song.

“We were close, used to compete in terms of the differences in our heights. It is this love that he gave us as a message that will steer the country to greater heights,” she said.

Kisumu deputy governor Ruth Odinga, Fidel’s aunt, said the death of the young Odinga must not go unanswered.

She asked for speedy investigations into the death saying the situation of unexplained deaths cannot be tolerated any longer.