December 18th 2017

Top Stories / National

Jaramogi, Mboya are Kenyan heroes, Uhuru finally admits

"Patriots like Jomo Kenyatta and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga; Tom Mboya and Makhan Singh; Masinde Muliro and Paul Ngei; Bildad Kaggia and Achieng’ Oneko set aside their differences, and joined hands to overthrow the colonial order," he said.

By Free Press Reporternewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comMonday, 12 Dec 2016 14:52 EAT

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.

After being widely censured by Kenyans for omitting the names of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Tom Mboya and Raila Odinga from the list of national heroes during his Mashujaa Day address, President Uhuru made amends in today's Jamhuri Day speech by acknowledging the role played by Jaramogi and Mboya in Kenya's colonial and post-colonial periods. In the speech, the president made sure the point was driven home by "stressing the achievement" of the two leaders in the same sentence where he recalled his own father's contribution.

"Too many of us have forgotten the power of our unity. Even in the darkness of colonial slavery, our fathers and mothers were one. Patriots like Jomo Kenyatta and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga; Tom Mboya and Makhan Singh; Masinde Muliro and Paul Ngei; Bildad Kaggia and Achieng’ Oneko set aside their differences, and joined hands to overthrow the colonial order. In their unity, they were indomitable; in our disunity, we are defense-less. I stress their achievement: this was Kenya’s first age of heroes, and we who come after them should always remember what a precious gift they left us," the president said.

In his Mashujaa Day, the president had left out the three nationalists, a decision that raised eyebrows as all the three are members of the Luo community. Was the president deliberately trying to whittle down the contribution of the Luo community to Kenya's struggles? Not at all, if today's bold correction was anything to go by.

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