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Monday, 13 Feb 2017 10:23 EATnmuthoni@kenyafreepress.com
It is rarely the case that a Kenyan leaders wins immense respect and adoration from his or her political opponents. But that is exactly what departed Kwale senator Boy Juma Boy, who will be laid to rest today at his family home in Matuga, did. And while political eulogies are to be taken with a pinch of salt, Mr Boy's life accomplishments are notable in the fact that not only politicians but also bloggers have nothing negative to say about him.
As many leaders have affirmed, the death has robbed the country of a honest politician, a vocal defender of people's rights and a champion of good governance. The lawmaker was a pillar within ODM and the newly-formed National Super Alliance (NASA), but even leaders from the government benches have spoken highly of charisma, convictions and contributions to the coastal and indeed all Kenyan people's development.
President Uhuru Kenyatta described Mr Boy as a wise politician, orator and defender of his people and the workers. "His death was untimely and cruel. In this hour of sorrow, I convey my deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to Senator Boy Juma Boy's family, relatives and the people of Kwale. My thoughts and prayers are with you," the President said in a statement from State House Nairobi.
ODM party leader Raila Odinga described Boy's death as "saddening and crushing". Mr Odinga spoke a defender of democracy, Panafricanism and devolution. "We are saddened by the untimely death of Senator Boy Juma Boy." Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka eulogized Mr Boy as a selfless leader.
Mr Boy's opponent, former Cabinet minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere, who was making a triumphant return to Kenya after resigning a government job, cancelled a key rally at Kombani. Mombasa Governor Hassan Ali Joho had been scheduled to attend the rally where Mr Mwakwere was to be received into the party following his defection from Jubilee.
Mr Makwere said Kenya had lost "a great patriot who knew no hatred and was a friend to everyone." Raila and Joho who had arrived in Mombasa to receive Mwakwere into ODM, flew back to Nairobi after receiving news of Boy's death. The former minister, who was Mr Boy's local opponent in Matuga politics, said the county and country have lost a great patriot who knew no hatred and a friend to everyone. "I was to meet Raila and Joho at Kombani before heading to Kwale for lunch but at the Likoni ferry crossing, they received the bad news on the demise...we have lost our senator and this is a very big blow," said Mr Mwakwere who spoke in Ukunda.
Nominated MP Zuleikha Mohammed termed the death as unbelievable. "ODM has lost a great leader and a human rights champion. We pray that his family and friends may get the strength to bear the loss," she said. Kwale Women Representative Zainab Chidzuga mourned the legislator whom she described as a friend. Kilifi Woman Representative Aisha Jumwa and Kibarani MCA Getrude Mwanyanje termed Boy's death as a big blow to his family, friends and the country at large. "We have received the news of the death of Senator Boy Juma Boy with sadness. I send my condolences to his family and friends," Ms Jumwa said.
"Never a man to play sycophancy games, he never followed national politicians for handouts as many of the current generation of politicians do, he maintained his respect among the people," a supporter of the senator summed his life on a phone call with the Kenya Free Press. Ever a principled leader, he was an inspiration to many people, especially those who are aspiring for a career in politics.