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September 24, 2017

Raila, Ruto eulogise Nkaissery as loving, honest leader

President Uhuru Kenyatta lays a wreath on Joseph Nkaissery's grave. /PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta lays a wreath on Joseph Nkaissery's grave. /PSCU

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has eulogised the late Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery as a honest and close friend.

Raila said they had untold friendship and that his death was a big shock to the country.

"Nkaissery had many friends. When the president asked him to join government, he came and told me. His death indeed was a big blow to our country," he said.

Raila said he gave Nkaissery the greenlight to join the government.

"...Nilimwambia aende afanye kazi kwani alikuwa mtaalamu. Mimi nilikuwa rafiki wa Nkaissery tulipokuwa bunge. Alipenda watu sana. Pia alipenda mambo ya ulinzi," Raila said during Nkaissery's funeral on Saturday.

This loosely translates to (I told him to go and work as he was a specialist. I was his friend when in parliament and he loved people and security matters)

The former Prime Minister said the late CS never harbored hatred in his heart and that he loved all people irrespective of their differences.

"Hakukuwa na mambo ya uadui kati yangu na yeye. Nimekuwa rafiki yake tangu aingie mbunge. Alikuwa anapenda sports... tulicheza na yeye kwa team ya bunge."

(He was never an enemy. I have been his friend since I became an MP. He loved sports and we were teammates in Bunge FC)

Nkaissery 67, was laid to rest at his home in Bisil, Kajiado County at a funeral service led by the Baptist Church.

He died at Karen hospital on June 8 after a rare heart attack.

More on this: Postmortem shows Nkaissery died of a rare heart attack, medics rule out foul play

Various political and religious leaders attended the funeral.

Local community leaders and former Tanzanian Prime Minister Edward Lowassa were also present.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli sent his security minister to convey his condolences.

Lowassa eulogised Nkaissery as a leader who loved peace and would never tolerate chaos and violence.

He called on Kenyans to emulate him through peaceful co-existence adding that "Tanzania is praying for Kenya ahead of the August 8 polls."

"You just experienced violence the other day (2007), I pray you do not return there," he said.

Lowassa urged Kenyans to be proud of their country which he said was ahead its Eastern African neighbours in terms of development.

“You should not be blaming yourselves, you should be proud of yourselves,” he said.

Other speakers also paid glowing tributes to Nkaissery describing him as a role model.

DP William Ruto described him as an embodiment of patriotism owing to his immense contribution to the country’s security.

“A fitting legacy for him would be for us to build bridges of friendship, unity and brotherhood between all communities,” Ruto said.

Education CS and acting Interior CS Fred Matiang’i said the Cabinet lost a strong pillar.

“We can honor our brother by being honest and by serving with distinction like he did. It will take us a long time to come to terms with Nkaissery's absence,” he said.

Earlier, President Uhuru Kenyatta used the occasion to condemn the violence that has rocked campaign rallies in recent days.

He said insults and chaos will not give opponents of either side more votes. Uhuru said the youth who attacked Jubilee and NASA leaders must stop.

"Mimi naomba wenzetu, democrasia ni kuhurusu mtu anene yake hata kama huyapendi, wacha aseme," he said.

(My plea to Kenyans is that democracy is about allowing people speak their mind even when you don't agree with them)

NASA flag bearer Raila Odinga's motorcade was pelted with stones in Thika on Thursday.

On Wednesday, rowdy youth shouted down NASA principals moments after they had started addressing a rally in Baringo.

DP William Ruto was also heckled during Jubilee campaigns in Kisumu on Wednesday.

More: Nkaissery burial: Stone throwing, insults won't add you votes - Uhuru

Nkaissery was born on November 28, 1949.

He was an MP from 2002 to 2014 when he resigned to become Interior CS.

Prior to joining politics, served in the Kenya Defence Forces, rising to the rank of a Major General.

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