Political upheaval is expected to erupt during Prof George Albert Omore Magoha’s burial ceremony that will take at his rural home in Ahono Ratudi village, Gem subcounty on the outskirts of Yala town in Siaya County.
Already, as if to soften the ground in Siaya, the government has pledged to ferry Magoha’s body by state helicopter and also foot he bill for the food mourners will eat.
The funeral committee is working on the burial programme after double tragedy struck the family following the burial of his younger brother, Prof Richard Albert Nyabera Magoha who was interred on Saturday January 28 at a low key event in the heavily forested village.
The younger Magoha died in the US. The straight-talking former CS for Education died aged 71 years at the Nairobi Hospital following a cardiac arrest.
Weekly Citizen has information that former president Uhuru Kenyatta, ODM leader Raila Odinga, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Dap-K Eugene Wamalwa, Charity Ngilu of Narc-K, Martha Karua of Narc and Uhuru regime cabinet ministers are expected to attend.
If president William Ruto decides to grace the burial of Prof Magoha in the village that is a stone’s throw from ODM leader Raila’s home in the neighbouring Bondo constituency, then it will be the first time he will be coming face-to-face with those who backed Raila’s ticket on Azimio for the presidency which Ruto eventually scooped.
It is not known if Gideon Moi, the Kanu boss who of late has gone silent will attend. Sources say Gideon and Uhuru are playing it safe and if Ruto decides to be in Siaya, they may skip the event due to high political temperatures being experienced in Kenya now.
Being in Luo Nyanza, the bastion of Raila, Ruto’s attendance is likely to be received with mixed reaction. Ruto is a strategist and last year during national celebrations in Kisumu when Uhuru was still the president and him deputy, he was well received at Kondele, a scene that surprised many.
The burial is taking place at a time when there is growing animosity in the country following a frosty relationship between Ruto and Raila with the Orange party leader agitating for mass action, economic sabotage among other actions associated with the opposition.
It will be a litmus test for Ruto if he attends with word that a section of his handlers are comfortable with the president gracing memorial church service in Nairobi and skip home burial.
Ruto did not reappoint Magoha but instead named Ezekiel Machogu at the helm, leading to the current crisis in KSCE examination results uproar.
The CSs Ruto retained Monica Juma and Simon Chelugui cannot level the late’s performance while in office.
Ruto himself in his message of condolence to the family, said he worked well with the late professor and the country has lost a brilliant son. University of Nairobi vice chancellor Stephen Kiama frustrated the return of Magoha to teach at the medical school forcing to find solace at Maseno University, where he had landed a job to teach.
Prof Kiama and Magoha were not seeing eye-to-eye and when Ruto did not name him back to the cabinet, Kiama is said to have celebrated with his allies.
Among them were Julia Ojiambo and chairman of the university Council Dr Vijoo Rattansi. Surprisingly after his death, they are now shedding crocodile tears.