The family of Kenya’s first Vice President Jaramogi Oginga Odinga on Sunday commemorated 25 years since his death on January 20, 1994.
Mr Muhoho Kenyatta, the President’s younger brother, graced the ceremony which was set to be a modest affair since an elaborate one will be held next month in Kisumu.
Mr Odinga, the son of the late doyen of opposition politics led guests and family members in a prayer service at Nyamira ACK Church in Bondo from where they were to go to the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Mausoleum to lay a wreath.
From left: Homa Bay politician Sammy Wakiaga, Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju, opposition chief Raila Odinga and Muhoho Kenyattat at St Peter’s ACK Nyamira Parish on January 20, 2019.
The official ceremony — usually hosted by the family and graced by prominent personalities — was pushed to February after Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o fell ill. Prof Nyong’o is one of the organisers of the event.
As has been the tradition, the memorial is usually held on January 20 in Bondo, Siaya County.
But this year, the family said it will be held in Kisumu to mark “quarter century” since his death.
“Given that the governor was sick and the month also seemed squeezed for us, and because of the tight schedule, we decided to postpone the event to next month,” said Mr Oginga on Saturday.
The Kisumu governor was airlifted to Nairobi for what doctors at the Aga Khan Hospital in Kisumu termed as ‘conclusive tests’.
He fell ill during the installation ceremony of Catholic Archbishop Philip Anyolo and was rushed to the hospital where he remained admitted.
His communication secretary said he had been diagnosed with low blood pressure and put on bed rest.
“This is the first event of its kind that we are hosting outside Bondo. We want people to turn up for this ceremony,” said Mr Oginga.
He added that the two-day event is expected to attract visitors from outside the country as well.
“The public lecture has attracted scholars, leaders, students and the general public who are all welcomed to the event,” added Mr Oginga, who is also a member of the East African Legislative Assembly.
According to programme, the February memorial will start with a morning prayer at St Peters Cathedral in Kisumu and then a public lecture at Tom Mboya Labor College before a gathering at the Jomo Kenyatta sportsground.
The late Jaramogi’s memorial is usually conducted together with that of his grandson Fidel Odinga, who died on January 4, 2015.