Nasa leader Raila Odinga, Chief Justice David Maraga, Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi and other leaders have sent their condolences to the family of the late Kenneth Matiba.
Mr Odinga who is currently in Johannesburg, South Africa, said Kenya has lost one of the last living symbols of the pains Kenyans had to bear in order to enjoy the liberties we do.
Mr Matiba died on Sunday evening at the Karen Hospital where he had been admitted for weeks. He died aged 85 years.
“It is hardly where we intended or ought to be, but it is certainly better than where we were at this time over 20 years ago, thanks to the sacrifices of Hon Matiba and his team,” Mr Odinga said.
He said his family enjoyed a special bond with that of Matiba, saying that the relationship they had was sealed by a shared vision and the scars of shared struggles.
On his part, Chief Justice David Maraga said Mr Matiba was an exceptional leader who distinguished himself from an early age as a meticulous manager, an astute businessman and a charismatic politician.
“He dedicated the prime years of his life to the service of our nation, with unwavering devotion to the national cause and values,” he said, adding that Kenyans will always be grateful for the crucial role he played in the struggle for the introduction of multi-party democracy in Kenya.
Speaker of the National Assembly, Justin Muturi termed Mr Matiba as a brave and selfless leader and a hero for multi-party democracy in Kenya, saying generations will be grateful to him and others who took the country to the unprecedented spheres of democracy.
Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria praised the late Matiba for his “invaluable and immeasurable” contribution towards the making of the second republic, the multiparty era.
“His legacy can’t be extinguished. He dared to dream and sacrificed a lot to actualise his dreams,” said the governor.
“This came at the expense of not just his material wealth but his personal health. Yet over and above all the tribulations, he never relented in the spirited fight for democracy and constitutionalism. His fight, contribution and commitment towards a better republic can neither be redacted nor be ignored,” Mr Wa Iria said.
Mr Iria said Matiba was the embodiment of the true Murang’a spirit where he came from.