NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 2- Maasai leaders have described the death of former Cabinet Minister William ole Ntimama as a big blow to the community he has defended all through his political career.
Among the leaders who accompanied the body along with his family to the Lee Funeral Home was former Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku, who described Ntimama as his mentor.
“We woke up this morning to the sad news that our father and hero has passed on; as a nation and as a people, this is a very big blow,” he said.
“I would like our people to reflect on the role mzee played to make us one people and a proud one at that regardless of the boundaries that exist between our people.”
Lenku said he was inspired to joining politics by Ntimama, who also used to give him wise counsel during his turbulent moments at the Interior Ministry.
“He is a dear person to me as a friend,” he said.
The former minister even revealed that he had a meeting with Ntimama a few months ago, where he was urged to spread the message of unity even as he kicks off his political career.
Another former Cabinet Minister Julius Sunkuli who also spoke at the mortuary says the country has lost a great leader at a crucial time when the country is headed to elections.
“Ntimama has been a strong politician and a Maasai leader of all seasons. We were in Parliament with him for a period of 10 years,” he stated.
“He has been quite resolute in the fight of Maasai people and a father figure.”
Former Transport Licensing Board Chairman Hassan ole Kamwaro recalled how he had a hearty conversation with Ntimama on Thursday evening and that they were meant to attend a fundraiser on Friday.
“Yesterday at 5pm, he called me while I was attending the memorial of Mzee Nyachae’s wife where he asked to pass my condolences. He was in a jovial mood,” a visibly sad Kwamwaro said.
“I was shocked when we got the news that he is no more. Today he was supposed to have a Harambee. We are sad that we have lost him.”
Ntimama aged 86 died peacefully in his sleep at his rural home in Narok County.
Among his last public appearances was at State House, Nairobi on August 9 when he led a group of Maasai leaders to join the Jubilee Party.