Former Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete has called on President Uhuru Kenyatta and Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga to play their part and ensure peaceful elections next month.
Kikwete told mourners during a funeral service for the late former Cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott that a peaceful election in Kenya would be a welcome gift to the people of East Africa.
“You hold the mantle to a peaceful election in your country, we plead with you to see to it that this is achieved,” Kikwete, who was a member of the Eminent Persons who brokered the peace accord of 2007 in the country, told the two leaders.
The team Others who were in the team that brokered the peace deal were former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (team leader), former South African First Lady Graca Machel and former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga, who was present, left before the service ended. Kikwete urged Kenyans to uphold peace during and after elections in honour of Biwott, adding that peace in Kenya meant a lot to her neighbours.
Mourners who spoke at the service held at the AIC Milimani Church, Nairobi, described Biwott as a noble and humble man, committed to serving people and country. “My father was an achiever who got things done by whatever means,” Biwott’s daughter Esther Koimett, said in her eulogy.
Biwott’s widow, Hannie Biwott, said she was not mourning the loss of a truly noble man, but thanking God for having granted her the privilege of having lived in his shadow. “Never would Nicholas pride himself in his good deeds, seek to elevate himself through connections, try to curry favour through flattery or, putting it bluntly, by throwing names.
Till the end he remained a humble man, never seeking recognition for his generosity,” she eulogised. Biwott’s pastor at AIC Church Samuel Samoei told mourners of how Biwott deserted Christianity after what he termed an offensive preaching by white missionaries while in Australia, only to change heart in 2002 and return to the church.
Kikwete said Kenya had lost a man of honour who spent most of his time on earth serving the people of his country. “I remember Biwott for the enormous efforts he put towards the actualisation of the East African Community Protocol.
We burnt the midnight oil to put the final touches as the world waited for the Treaty to be signed. Thanks to Biwott, it finally happened,” he said. Other speakers included cabinet secretaries Henry Rotich and Amina Mohamed, former Head of Civil service Francis Muthaura, chair of the National Fund for the Disabled Kristina Pratt and Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos. Biwott will be buried tomorrow at his farm in Tot, Chebior sub-district in Keiyo South.