Laboso laid to rest in Kisumu as leaders avoid politics


President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto, ODM leader Raila Odinga during a prayer session ...
President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto, ODM leader Raila Odinga, Council of Governors Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya and Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o during a prayer session with the family of the late Joyce Laboso, Governor of Bomet County at Fort Ternan in Kisumu on August 3, 2019.

The late Joyce Laboso (Bomet Governor) was on Saturday laid to rest in a State funeral at her matrimonial family home in Kisumu County.

The burial ceremony was held at St Austin Kadenge Secondary school in Fort Ternan.

Also Read: Kenyans praise Edwin Abonyo as he eulogises his late wife Joyce Laboso

In a rare gesture, the ceremony was devoid of politics despite the presence of leaders from across the political divide.

Speeches were minimal and concentrated on the legacy of the late Dr. Laboso.

Her family initiated the tributes as people danced and sang to celebrate the life of Laboso which they said served as an encouragement to many families.

“We have lost a pillar as a community and a lover of peace who has succeeded in uniting people,” Mzee Chebosir said while speaking on behalf of the Laboso family.

Dr. Edwin Abonyo won the hearts of many for his outstanding character and was greatly appreciated for showing boldness and courage despite losing his wife.

In a short speech on Saturday, Dr. Abonyo thanked the Head of State and his deputy for their support as his wife fought the disease.

Kisumu County Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o praised the late Laboso for her uniting spirit saying it was not only evident within her nuclear family but also between the Kipsigis and Luo communities as was seen during the funeral.

Baringo Senator Gideon Moi who represented his father, Retired President Daniel Moi, described Joyce as a visionary leader with academic brilliance.

He also referred to her past role as a teacher where she mentored many and gave hope to many.

Governors Anne Waiguru and Charity Ngilu further noted the importance of women leaders in the country, stating that Laboso had exceptionally led Bomet County and displayed how women can be impactful in leadership.

The family of the late Dr. Joyce Laboso
The family of the late Dr. Joyce Laboso

 

“I am calling upon the President and his Deputy to please honour Joyce and the rest of women leaders by giving us a female successor. There are a lot of women out there in Bomet who are capable,” Ngilu said.

Council of Governors Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya referred to the late Laboso as a ‘devolution warrior.’

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga also touched on gender balance saying that it should not be ignored as women are disadvantaged in the society.

“Women are married to a strange society where they are forced to compete to men born and raised in the same society. They have also been discriminated based on their gender from time immemorial…affirmative action should be taken now,” he said.

From left: DP William Ruto, Muhoroni MP Onyango Koyoo, President Uhuru Kenyatta, ODM leader Raila Odinga and ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi

In his brief speech, President Uhuru Kenyatta commended Dr. Abonyo for his humility, non-tribal and corrupt-free nature which according to him enabled the late Laboso to succeed in her leadership.

“The late Laboso served her family, her electorate and Kenyans with commitment and humility and achieved great accomplishments in life that were visible to all Kenyans,” he said.

Other dignitaries who attended the ceremony included Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi

Laboso, 59, succumbed to cancer on July 29 while undergoing treatment at the Nairobi Hospital.

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Story By Muia Joseph
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