Political leaders, scholars, and religious figures, inspired by the ideals of Kenya’s first Vice President, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, gathered with family and friends to commemorate the 30th anniversary of his passing at Ofafa Memorial Hall in Kisumu on January 20, 2024.

Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o of Kisumu, mentored by Jaramogi, praised him for opposing the authoritarian presidential state and individuals involved in public resource looting. Nyong’o highlighted Jaramogi’s commitment to improving the lives of all Kenyans during the struggle for independence, echoing the urgency for liberation even today.

Recalling Jaramogi’s resilience in the face of intrigues within the ruling party Kanu, Nyong’o recounted how Jaramogi resigned from the government to form the Kenya People’s Union (KPU). Despite challenges, Jaramogi persisted in advocating for multiparty democracy, dignity, and social justice until his last breath.

Azimio leader Raila Odinga, Jaramogi’s son, acknowledged his father’s commitment to serving Kenyans, emphasizing his efforts in negotiating airlifts for over 5,000 Kenyans to study in communist and socialist countries. Odinga highlighted Jaramogi’s modest upbringing, emphasizing the importance of understanding rural life and interacting with ordinary people.

Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria described Jaramogi as a mentor, while women’s rights advocate Jael Mbogo expressed unwavering commitment to Jaramogi’s ideals based on the impact he had on her life. Freedom fighter Mzee Githu Kahengeri emphasized that the struggle for Kenya’s independence was for all Kenyans, not specific tribes.

Former minister Mukhisa Kituyi noted that Jaramogi would not have remained silent amid current attacks on the Judiciary and the Controller of Budget. Siaya Governor James Orengo highlighted Jaramogi’s legacy of struggle, lamenting that the current government lacks individuals who believe in those ideals.

Representing Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Senator Enock Wambua called on leaders to emulate Jaramogi’s principles, reinforcing the importance of upholding his vision for the nation.

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