• Noordin, his brother Abdul and the rest of the family thanked residents for electing their father twice as senator and standing by them during their trying moments.
• President Kenyatta described Haji as an outstanding leader who served the country with commitment throughout his life.
Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji told his family before he died to donate his six-month salaries to orphanages and use part of it as bursaries.
It was one of his dying wishes. His family said they will honour it. This was revealed on Friday by his son, Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin, during a thanksgiving ceremony at a local hotel in Garissa, where residents were urged to pray for Haji's departed soul.
“Going forward, we intend to donate our late father's six-month salary that he earned while dispossessed to orphanages, as well as bursaries to students in the subcounties of Garissa. The money will be handed over to the Kenya Red Cross, which will reach out to the needy,”Noordin said.
Noordin, his brother Abdul and the rest of the family thanked residents for electing their father twice as senator. Most residents did not attend his father's burial in Nairobi because of time constraints.
Noordin could not hold back his tears as he narrated how his late father battled illness before eventually succumbing on Monday. The legislator was buried the same day in line with Muslim traditions.
Noordin said the meeting was also meant to thank residents for standing by the family during their trying moments. He thanked them for their over-pouring messages of condolence.
Also present during the brief ceremony were Finance CS Ukur Yatani, county commissioner Meru Mwangi, governors Ali Korane (Garissa) and Mohamed Kuti (Isiolo), MPs Sophia Abdinoor (Ijara) and Mohamed Omar (Wajir South), Isiolo Senator Fatumo Dulo, Deputy Governor Abdi Dagane, former IGAD executive secretary Mahboob Maalim, and former Governor Nathif Jama.
Noordin on several occasions broke down and had to cut short his speech. He said his father regretted as his condition worsened that he could not serve his people.
"As a family, we have lost not only a father but also a pillar that glued us together," the DPP said.
He said when his father realised he could not make it, he made some wishes to the family. His father had also promised to build a rehabilitation centre at Garissa's Jamia Mosque.
“As a family, we will also try to complete all the projects that our late father had started. We will walk this journey together, that I can promise,” the DPP said.
He also took the opportunity on behalf of the family to ask for forgiveness from all those who may have crossed paths with his father as he went about executing his official duties.
Noordin thanked President Uhuru Kenyatta and all the leaders who stood by the family during his father's illness, singling out Finance CS Yatani, whom he said was supportive of the family throughout the period.
Governor Korane, for his part, said the county will work closely with the family to complete all projected that had been initiated by the senator.
He said the county will look for ways of remembering the late lawmaker, noting that naming an institution or a street after him will be an option.
Governor Kuti appealed to Isiolo and Garissa counties to find lasting peace as a way of honouring Haji, whom he said was at the forefront of uniting warring communities.
President Kenyatta described Haji as an outstanding leader who served the country with commitment throughout his life. In a speech read by CS Yatani, the head of state said that at a personal level Mzee Haji walked with him throughout his political life, noting that he benefitted immensely from his wise counsel.
"I always held very constructive and candid discussions with Mzee Haji on my various political manoeuvres and most fundamentally on the future of this country. His personality and strength of character was best manifest to me as my political mentor,” he said.
The family is set to travel to his home town of Malani, Ijara subcounty, to hold similar prayers and thank residents whom he represented for two terms as an elected MP. He had also served as a nominated MP.
County secretary Abdi Ali and assembly speaker Ahmed Abass led members from the county executive and legislature respectively, in paying their respects.