President leads Kenyans in giving General Mulinge a hero’s send off

President Uhuru Kenyatta came face to face with CORD leader Raila Odinga who insisted on his calls for a national dialogue

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday led hundreds of mourners in giving retired General Jackson Mulinge a hero’s send off.

General Mulinge – who was buried at his farm in Kathiani, Machakos County – was given a full military send off following his long service at the helm of the Kenya military as the Chief of General Staff.

The country’s longest serving military chief died on June 17 this year after a long illness.

Paying tribute to General Mulinge, President Kenyatta described him as a true patriot who was ready to sacrifice his life for the country.

He observed that the late General’s patriotism and loyalty to the nation laid a firm foundation for the discipline that has earned the country’s military respect in the region and beyond.

“He was loyal to his country, the Government and the people of Kenya. He was a focused leader who served the country with devotion,” President Kenyatta affirmed.

The President urged Kenyans to emulate the late General Mulinge’s example and serve the nation with respect, dignity and integrity.

“If leaders respected one another and did what was right, then this country would have accomplished a lot in terms of development,” the President said.

Retired President Daniel arap Moi called on opposition leaders to use institutions created through the Constitution to channel their grievances instead of inciting Kenyans.

He said during his tenure he acceded to multiparty democracy for the sake of peace and therefore the opposition needs to use Parliament in dealing with issues instead of engaging in unnecessary wrangles.

“Instead of politicizing issues, leaders should give the President space to execute his Constitutional mandate and implement the Government’s development agenda. Democracy demands that after elections those who lose wait to try their luck next time instead of harbouring hatred and planting the seed of disunity among the people,” Mr. Moi said.

National Dialogue

The leader of majority in Parliament  Aden Duale praised the late General Mulinge for upholding constitutionalism at the most trying moment in Kenya’s history.

“Your Excellency in 2010 we voted for a new Constitution. A Constitution that created a number of institutions. A Constitution that created checks and balances.  A Constitution that gave Parliament both the senate and the national assembly its independence,” he said.

Mr. Duale added, “A Constitution that created a robust judiciary and an executive at both levels that is accountable to the people of Kenya. Your Excellency, as we see off a man who stood for the Constitution, we are telling you as a political leader that you must defend the Constitution 2010 and you must allow all the engagements to be done within the confines of that Constitution.”

Cord leaders led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga reiterated their call for a national dialogue.

Former vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka said both the Government and the opposition need to sit and talk to find solutions to the myriad of challenges the country is facing.

Chief of Defence Forces of Kenya, General Julius Karangi described the late General Mulinge as a focused, courageous and disciplined soldier who was conscious of timeliness and had no moment for those who wasted it.

His former military colleagues led by retired General Jeremiah Kianga praised him as the cornerstone of discipline and patriotism in the Kenya Defense Forces.

They noted that the late Gen Mulinge was a Kenyan icon who demonstrated exemplary leadership in the military.

Others who spoke were the Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, Nairobi Senator Mike Mbuvi Sonko and Machakos Senator Johnston Muthama.