Burial preparations for Fidel Odinga in top gear in Bondo

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Fidel0601raPreparations for the funeral of Mr Fidel Castro Odinga, the son of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, are in top gear at the Cord leader’s rural home in Bondo.

Two meetings were on Tuesday held separately: one at Mr Odinga’s residence in Opoda while the other was held at Jaramogi Oginga’s home where the burial rites will be performed.

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Several elders, church leaders, politicians and officials of the county government of Siaya in charge of the organisation of the funeral attended the meetings.

The burial will be held on Saturday, January 10.

The usually quiet home of the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga is now a beehive of activities.

A number of youth have been engaged in chopping fuel wood, ensuring water and electricity connections are up and running as well as making security adjustments at the home.

Loggers prepare firewood ahead of the burial of the Fidel Odinga in Bondo. PHOTO | TOM OTIENO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Loggers prepare firewood ahead of the burial of the Fidel Odinga in Bondo.

Siaya Deputy Governor Ouma Onyango who is the chairman of the funeral committee, said the ceremony will be conducted at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology grounds.

NIGHT VIGIL

He was addressing the press after a meeting at Kang’o Kajaramogi.

He said the body will be received in Bondo on Friday for a night vigil at the Opoda residence before the procession heads to the college.

“We are yet to finalise the program. Tentatively, we shall hold a night vigil at the former Prime Ministers’ home in Opoda under the leadership of the Coptic Church,” he said.

On Saturday, prayers will be conducted by the Anglican Church of Kenya at the university grounds of which the procession will later head to the family cemetery, he said.

More than eight catering units will be set up at the various venues to avert stampede among the mourners.

Mr Onyango said that more than 10 bulls had so far been pledged, as well 10 sacks of maize.

“We are yet to compare notes with the chair of the Nairobi team. More donations are also expected in due course,” he said.

The funeral has seen many people from the county volunteering to take charge of the thousands of guests expected to attend the burial of the late Fidel Odinga.

A mourner at Kango' Kajaramogi home in Bondo where Fidel Odinga will be laid to rest on Saturday January 10, 2015. PHOTO | TOM OTIENO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A mourner at Kango’ Kajaramogi home in Bondo where Fidel Odinga will be laid to rest on Saturday January 10, 2015.

“We are happy that many people want to contribute towards the funeral; it is a good sign for us since the Jaramogi’s family is extended beyond the Kenyan borders,” Mr Onyango said.

“We expect rugby players, Fidel’s constituents, in-laws, friends and relatives of the Odinga family,” he said adding that the funeral was rushed to exemplify to the Luo community that there is no need to keep their dead ones for long.

Governor Cornel Rasanga conducted another meeting at the Opoda farm which was closed to the press.

IDENTIFY GRAVESITE

At the same time, elders from the home led in the identification of the gravesite where Fidel will be buried.

Workers clean the compound at Kango' Kajaramogi village in preparation for the burial of Fidel Odinga. PHOTO | TOM OTIENO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Workers clean the compound at Kango’ Kajaramogi home in preparation for the burial of Fidel Odinga.

Being a grandson of the family of the first vice president of Kenya, Fidel’s grave will be set in the same line as that of his peers at the family’s shrine.

He will be laid to rest alongside his kinsmen Mama Mary Odhiambo (grandmother who died in 1984); Fredrick Odima (1975); Ngire Omuodo (1983); Raila Osewe (1992) and Master Omondi Oginga who died in 1956 aged 8 months.

Elders point at the proposed grave site where the late Fidel Odinga will be laid to rest on Saturday at Kango' Kajaramogi home in Bondo PHOTO | TOM OTIENO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Elders point at the proposed grave site where the late Fidel Odinga will be laid to rest on Saturday at Kango’ Kajaramogi home in Bondo

Mr Otengo Omindo, an uncle to Fidel Odinga, said the graveyard had been identified by the father long before he died.

“The late Fidel had not constructed a homestead according to the Luo customs. He is therefore considered a child and cannot be buried in his new house at Opoda farm,” Mr Otengo said.

-nation.co.ke

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