President Uhuru Kenyatta has mourned veteran politician and second liberation hero Kenneth Stanley Njindo Matiba who died on Sunday, April 15.
In a televised address from State House Nairobi, President Kenyatta eulogised Mzee Matiba as a “true patriot who loved Kenya and a nationalist who believed in hard work and building strong bonds of friendship for the betterment of all.”
The President said death had robbed the country of a devoted leader and mentor who was a role model to many.
Matiba, who had been battling a long illness, passed on at the Karen Hospital at around 6.10pm. He died at 85.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is said to have been receiving regular updates on Mzee Matiba’s health condition, was among the first leaders to arrive at the Karen Hospital after the multi-party democracy hero was pronounced dead.
Being a senior political figure in the country, Mzee Matiba’s death was officially announced by the President who also sent a heartfelt condolence message to the family of the deceased.
Here is President Kenyatta’s condolence message:
It is with a heavy heart and a deep sense of loss that Margaret and I send Mrs Edith Matiba and her family this message of condolence and encouragement following the death of Mzee Kenneth Matiba.
Mzee Matiba was a true patriot who loved this nation of Kenya, a nationalist who believed in hard work and building strong bonds of friendship for the betterment of all.
Mzee Matiba was among the first sons of Kenya who formed the team that began to lay the foundation of our great Nation. He played a key role as a teacher in Kangaru High School in 1960; then in 1961 through 1962 as an officer for higher education; and later in 1963 as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Co-operatives. He also served as Minister for Transport and Communications, Minister for Health and Minister for Culture and Social Services. He was also among the pioneering Kenyan entrepreneurs with diverse interests being involved in a number of companies such as the East African Breweries Ltd and in the hotel and tourism industry.
On the political front, he was at the forefront in shaping the political landscape of this Country. His call for multiparty democracy and his rallying cry of “Forward Ever, Backward Never” helped transform our Country.
With the passing of Mzee Matiba, the cruel hand of death has robbed us of a devoted leader and mentor who was a role model to many. Indeed, he served the country with distinction.
His accomplishments clearly demonstrate that focus, diligence and determination pays. Those who knew him, benefited immensely from his selfless leadership and wisdom.
As we mourn the death of Mzee Matiba, be encouraged that our prayers, and those of all Kenyans, will give you and your family the strength and fortitude. We are privileged that he lived amongst us and thank God for the time we shared with him.
May the Almighty God rest the soul of Mzee Matiba in everlasting peace.