•Bajaber died on Sunday evening at the Mombasa Hospital after a short illness.
•He had health complications brought about by diabetes and high blood pressure.
Wiper deputy organizing secretary Salim Ali Sheikh Bajaber was on Monday laid to rest at the Kiziwi cemetery shortly after Dhur prayers led by Sheikh Abu Hamza at the Masjid Hudaa in Sparki.
Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka led other dignitaries and thousands of Mombasa residents in giving the former Mombasa deputy mayor off a decent send-off.
The party leader described Bajaber as a selfless leader who always put other people’s interest before his.
“He took Wiper as his own party, putting the party first in all that he did. News of his death was a shocker to us. It is only the other day that he welcomed us at his home where we had lunch together. We have lost a strong pillar of the party and a close friend,” said Kalonzo.
Mombasa Senator Mohamed Faki, businessman Suleiman Shahbal, former Kisauni MP Rashid Bedzimba, politician Omar Shalo, Public Works CAS Wavinya Ndeti, and Wiper chair Chirau Ali Mwakwere are among the dignitaries who showed up at the burial.
Kalonzo said the Bajaber family is close to him, having roots in Mwingi.
“These are like my brothers,” he said.
Bajaber died on Sunday evening at the Mombasa Hospital after a short illness.
He had health complications brought about by diabetes and high blood pressure.
Born in Kitui town on October 17, 1960, Bajaber touched many lives in Mombasa, Kitui and other parts of the country.
After he joined active politics in 1990 he was first elected Tudor Four councillor in 1992 and served for two terms.
As a councillor, he took many youth to the Mombasa port where they were employed on permanent and pensionable terms.
Because of his oratory skills, he became Mombasa deputy mayor in 1997.
“His biggest legacy has been to empower the common mwananchi at the grassroots,” said Abdallah Salim Bajaber, one of his sons.
“Many of the people in our country are still working in different sectors of the economy in jobs that they sourced from the late Mzee,” said Abdallah.
He described his late father as a down-to-earth man, committed to the poor and always charming.
The late Wiper deputy organizing secretary was also a prominent businessman with interests in the shipping and transport sectors.
Bajaber hosted Kalonzo in Mombasa on September 28 while the party leader was on the party’s rebranding tour of the Coast region.
In 2013, he unsuccessfully vied for the Tudor MCA seat through Wiper under Cord.
During his last visit to Mombasa on September 28, Kalonzo tasked Bajaber to unite the party after a seeming fallout over businessman Suleiman Shahbal’s expected comeback to the party.
Shahbal and Kisauni MP Ali Mbogo are eyeing the Mombasa governor seat, which is at the centre of the near-fallout.
Together with businessman and Wiper NEC member Mohamed Zakir, the former Mombasa deputy mayor was key in the opening if the first ever Wiper office in Mombasa.
He was heavily involved in the planning of Kalonzo’s Coast tour.
He has left behind a wife and five children.