Saturday, 1 September 2012

Veteran Politician Shikuku buried

Late Martin Shikuku
Veteran Kenyan politician Martin Joseph Shikuku was buried at his Kiminini home in Trans Nzoia County on Saturday, September 01.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga, one of his Deputies Musalia Mudavadi, several Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament, and National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende were among dignitaries in attendance.
President Mwai Kibaki message of condolence was read by the Deputy Prime Minister Mudavadi in a burial, which was beamed live by nearly all Television stations in the country
Mourners described him as a good and straightforward man who was steadfast in whatever he did and one who will be missed by many.
The former Butere MP died at Texas Cancer Centre in Nairobi's Hurlingham where he was undergoing treatment after a long battle with prostate cancer.
Shikuku joined politics before independence and was elected Member of Parliament on a KADU ticket way back in 1963.
The political career of the man popularly known as Son of Oyondi has seen him rub the political elite the wrong side and was one time detained. He was also among those who spearheaded campaigns for multiparty system.
He also stirred controversy among his Luhya community when he dug his grave and bought a coffin, an act considered a taboo. Shikuku attended Mumias Secondary School and St. Peters Seminary in Mukumu both in Western Province. 
He ventured into politics in 1959 when he joined the Nairobi People's Convention Party (NPC), and soon became its Secretary-General.
He later resigned from NPR to join the Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU) joining former President Daniel Moi and Ronald Ngala and became the Youth Leader.
In 1963 Shikuku was elected MP for Butere Constituency in Western Province. Shortly after however KADU was disbanded after a merger with KANU.
Shikuku won the Butere parliamentary seat again in the 1969 general elections and was appointed Assistant Minister in the Office of the Vice-President and Home Affairs by the late President Jomo Kenyatta.
However his controversial nature landed him in trouble with the Kenyatta regime when he sarcastically referred to the KANU government as "dead".
Shikuku was sacked as assistant minister and was arrested and detained.Until his death he was a member of Odinga`s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party and a close ally of Odinga.

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