LIVE: President Uhuru Kenyatta leads mourners at Laboso requiem
LIVE: President Uhuru Kenyatta leads mourners at Laboso requiem: President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto Friday are leading mourners in paying their tributes to the late Bomet Governor Dr Joyce Laboso in Sotik.
Other dignitaries present include ODM party leader Raila Odinga, governors, Cabinet secretaries, and legislators.
The requiem mass is being held at the Bomet Green Stadium. She will be buried in her marital home in Koru, Kisumu County.
Forgiveness, unity and reconciliation dominates the tributes at the farewell mass.
African Gospel Church head Bishop Dr Robert Lang’at has asked President Kenyatta, DP Ruto and Mr Odinga to lead the country towards the path of forgiveness, unity and reconciliation.
In his sermon, Bishop Lang’at said Kenyans should emulate Dr Laboso for her respect for the country’s diverse communities.
“Laboso loved people regardless of their communities and this informed her marriage to Edwin Abonyo. Her burial in Nyanza tomorrow (Saturday) should be a wake up call to our leaders,” Bishop Lang’at said.
He went on: “This country is bigger than us and it is only through unity that we shall succeed.”
On Thursday, a memorial service was held at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi where calls for concerted efforts in containing the cancer scourge dominated.
The government had said it will accord the late governor a State funeral.
“The President and his Deputy will attend both the function in Bomet on Friday and the burial on Saturday in Koru as a sign of respect for Dr Laboso who died on Monday after a long battle with cancer,” said Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter.
Mr Keter while speaking at Club 181 grounds in Sotik on Thursday afternoon during the public viewing of the body revealed that both Mr Kenyatta and Dr Ruto played a crucial role in supporting Dr Laboso while she was hospitalised in the United Kingdom, India and at Nairobi Hospital.
Leaders from Bomet County pledged to unite and implement the development agenda which Laboso did not get to accomplish following her death on Monday.
“We will support the Laboso family and ensure that the former governor’s vision and ambitions are fulfilled within the current term. Let us all unite and implement the development agenda,” said Deputy Governor Hillary Barchok, who is expected to be sworn in next week as third Bomet Governor.
Similar remarks were made by the Bomet Senator Christopher Langat.
“We will make sure that the development agenda left unfulfilled by Dr Laboso is completed in the remaining years before the next general election,” said Mr Langat.
Emotions ran high when the body of the governor arrived at the Club 181 grounds.
Hundreds of residents who had gathered to view the body wailed with others fainting as a police helicopter carrying the body landed at the grounds at 3:30pm.
Security officers had a hectic time controlling the crowd that surged forward to catch a glimpse of the body as it was removed from the helicopter.
After the public viewing, the body was taken to the family home a few metres away for an overnight stay.
Later on Friday evening , the body will be taken to the marital home in Koru ahead of burial on Saturday, in what will mark the end of her illustrious career and life.
By VITALIS KIMUTAI and By JUSTUS OCHIENG’