CONCILIATOR GONE

ODM Marakwet boss dies, pillar of peace efforts

Covid-19 victim? Family won't confirm reports, just says he died after a :short illness"

In Summary

• Chemweno, a who was a close ally of ODM leader Raila Odinga, died after a short illness. Family did not confirm reports he died of Covid-19.

• He was a well-known elder and peace worker in Kerio Valley where he tried to unite communities ravaged by years of banditry and inter-clan fighting.

ODM Leader Raila Odinga and Samwel Chemwono in Elgeyo Marakwet in February.
CHEMWENO DIES: ODM Leader Raila Odinga and Samwel Chemwono in Elgeyo Marakwet in February.
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

ODM has lost Marakwet branch chairman Samwel  Chemweno Chesoni who died at a hospital in Eldoret.

Chemweono, 61, a close ally of ODM leader Raila Odinga, died on Friday after a short illness. His family did not confirm reports he suffered from Covid-19.

He was a well-known elder and peace worker in Kerio Valley where he sought to unite communities ravaged by years of banditry and inter-clan fighting.

“It is with regret I have learnt about the demise of Samuel Chemweno Chesoni at an Eldoret hospital following a short illness. Popularly known as Chesoni, he was a seasoned politician in Marakwet West subcounty," Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos said.

He called political operative Chemweno "a straightforward gentleman who was always vibrant in politics and socioeconomic development".

Until recently he was engaged in peace-building, coordinating elders whose participation bore fruits in resolving perennial conflicts on our volatile borders, Tolgos told the family.

He said Chemweno’s wise leadership skills will be missed.

“Our sincere sympathies to the family, friends and relatives of the deceased and the people of Kapsowar township where he lived," the governor said.

ODM chairman for the region Micah Kigen also mourned Chemweno’s death, saying death had once again robbed the area of an icon and a political pillar.

“Chemweno was a devoted servant of our people. He exemplified political leadership, grassroots mobilisation and peacemaking. He anchored progressive politics, inter-clan peaceful co-existence and socio-economic development in the North Rift," Kigen said.

 

He praised Chemweno's patriotic political engagement in which he stood firm with political formations that supported his convictions.

He stood firm with the opposition since the early 1990s and became amongst the top leaders who introduced and established the ODM party in Elgeyo Marakwet and in the entire region," Kigen said.

He said Chemweno would have a special place in the history of peace-building, reconciliation and co-existence amongst communities in the North Rift.

Until to his death he was chairman of the North Rift Peace Building Initiative.

(Edited by V. Graham)