Friends and relatives on Saturday attended the burial of flamboyant politician Orie Rogo Manduli at her Tondorie Farm, Trans Nzoia County.
Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizens Affairs and Special Programmes Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia represented President Uhuru Kenyatta at the burial ceremony.
“‘Manduli as a woman of many firsts and a true trailblazer who will be remembered for the role in gender equality and women empowerment,” Ms Kobia said.
The CS, accompanied by her Defence counterpart Eugene Wamalwa, prayed to God to give the family strength during this difficult time.
”Our thoughts and prayers are with the family she has left behind,” said Ms Kobia.
Mr Wamalwa said that the death of Manduli marks the end of a significant chapter in Kenyan history.
”The history of a woman of substance, a woman of the time, a woman of great ambition but also a woman of great courage,” he said.
He urged local leaders to honour the late Manduli by embracing politics of tolerance, inclusivity.
”From now on, we don’t want to engage in divisive politics. Manduli has lived with all Kenyan tribes in Trans Nzoia, which is a cosmopolitan area,” Mr Wamalwa told the mourners.
The flashy politician famous for her bold stand on social things and stylish outfit each time she stepped out in public passed away on September 8, 2021.
Other politicians who eulogised Manduli included Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula, MPs Caleb Amisi (Saboti), Chris Wamalwa (Kiminini), Ferdinand Wanyonyi (Kwanza), George Opondo Kaluma (Homa Bay Town), former nominated Senator Zipporah Kittony, former minister Noah Wekesa among others.
Rift Valley regional Coordinator George Netembeya also attended the burial.
Mr Natembeya eulogised Manduli as a woman who fought for women and the less privileged in the society.
“I want to challenge Kenyan women to emulate Orie Rogo,” he said.
Mr Natembeya urged Trans Nzoia people to embrace unity as the country prepares for next year’s General Election.
Senator Wetang’ula said Manduli fought for multi-party democracy in Kenya adding that the country, Trans Nzoia and women have lost an icon who stood for what was right.
Mr Amisi and Mr Wamalwa said the veteran politician was a great pillar especially in agriculture. They said the woman ventured into agribusiness when other people focused only on subsistence agriculture.
Homa Bay Town MP-Peter Kaluma read ODM Party Leader Raila Odinga’s condolence. Kaluma said he was Manduli’s lawyer when she was the chairperson of NGO Council.
Manduli was also the first woman chair of the NGO council, and she fought to be heard in instances where she felt she was not heard or her leadership was being questioned due to gender bias.
The most common altercation she was ever involved in was with Tourism CS Najib Balala, whom she accused of meddling in the NGO’s affairs.
Manduli was the first Kenyan woman rally driver, and she was known for her expensive taste in fashion and headgears that matched her outfits.