Former West Mugirango MP Benson Kegoro dies

Benson Kegoro

Thge late Benson Kegoro, former West Mugirango member of Parliament. He died on November 16.

Photo credit: Pool

Former West Mugirango member of Parliament Benson Kegoro has died.

The veteran politician died  on Thursday morning at his Nyaronde home in Borabu constituency, Nyamira County.

"My father, aged 90, is no more. We are in mourning. I am currently out of the country but I received the news from my relatives," his son, George Kegoro, told the Nation.

On his father's 88th birthday, George praised him, saying he had pioneered in education, carpentry, community work, agriculture and politics in the region.

"With Mum, who is now resting, you have lifted many to greatness. Not just your children, but many others, especially the poorest. People you didn't even know or owe anything to," he said then.

Kegoro trained as a teacher and worked in many schools in his backyard, Bosamaro in Nyamira. He later ventured into politics.

In 1970, he won a by-election in West Mugirango constituency after the death of his mentor, George Morara. He lost in 1974, but regained the seat in 1979.

He lost the seat again in 1983. This forced him to run for the directorship of a tea factory, which he won by a landslide.

Kegoro later served as a councillor in Bosamaro Ward, becoming the first politician to serve as a councillor, tea director and civic leader. He lost his councillorship in 2007.

In 2016, opposition leader Raila Odinga, a close family friend of Kegoro, attended his wife's funeral at Nyaronde in Borabu, where he reminisced about old memories.

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta was also his ally and always mentioned him when he met with Gusii leaders.

During a visit to Kisii State Lodge just before the 2022 General Elections, Mr Kegoro left everyone in stitches, including the former President, when he made interesting observations about politicians respecting each other.

West Mugirango MP Steve Mogaka mourned Mr Kegoro's death saying, "It is with great shock and disbelief that I received the sad news of the unfortunate demise of the former Member of Parliament for West Mugirango Constituency, Mzee Benson Kegoro".

He added: "On behalf of the people of West Mugirango and my family, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family."

He recalled Kegoro's exemplary leadership to the great people of West Mugirango during his two terms as Member of Parliament between 1970 and 1983.

"Mzee Kegoro was a maverick politician and nationalist who championed equity and justice for all Kenyans. He was a gracious and highly resourceful community leader who excelled as a teacher and mentor during his long career in public service," said Mr Mogaka as he promised a befiting send-off for the departed politician.

After retiring from politics, Mr Kegoro spent most of his time urging Gusii leaders to unite for the development of the region.