Leaders from across the political divide set aside their differences to give a befitting send off to city lawyer Evans Monari on Sunday.
They respected the family’s wishes and avoided politics during the event in Nyakongo village in Kitutu Masaba constituency, Nyamira County.
Cabinet Secretaries Fred Matiang’i (Interior), Eugene Wamalwa (Defence), Betty Maina (Industrialisation), Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi, his Ford-K colleague Moses Wetang’ula as well as Governors Amos Nyaribo (Nyamira) and James Ongwae (Kisii) attended the funeral.
Dr Matiang’i read President Uhuru Kenyatta’s message to the family. Solicitor-General Ken Ogeto read Mr Monari’s eulogy.
“Evans was courageous. He talked about death often and kept telling his friends what he would want done when he dies,” Mr Ogeto said.
Speaker after speaker described Monari as a brilliant lawyer who detested corruption.
Dr Matiang’i asked Kenyans to emulate the lawyer who he said courted relationships beyond ethnic community and clan.
“The biggest lesson we learnt from Evans is to live as Kenyans and not to be constrained by who we are,” the Interior CS said.
“Some of us end up in a corner. We want to be identified with a clan but the world has changed. Evans did not live that way. That is why he made very many friends.”
He added that the lawyer lived in a universe of his own and did not allow prejudices informed by the government, politics or creed.
“He was a free spirit and has left behind a huge legacy,” Dr Matiang’i said.
Mr Mudavadi and Senator Wetang’ula said Monari was an honest leader.
The ANC leader called for the lifting of the nationwide curfew, citing economic strain on Kenyans.
He asked Dr Matiang’i to tell President Uhuru Kenyatta that Kenyans are ready to observe the Ministry of Health guidelines and protocols on Covid-19 when the curfew is lifted.
Mr Wetang’ula said leaders should avoid utterances that could lead to tension, especially as the country heads to an election.
Governors Nyaribo and Ongwae urged Nyamira and Kisii county locals to register as voters.
Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri welcomed President Kenyatta’s declaration on Kenya not ceding territory to Somalia.