President Uhuru Kenyatta has mourned Prof. Okoth Okombo, who passed on Wednesday night at a Nairobi hospital, as one of Kenya’s most distinguished scholars.
The President paid tribute to Prof Okombo’s learning, noting that the Professor’s penetration and productivity had earned him the respect of his peers at home and abroad.
“In linguistics and communication studies, he cut a niche for himself as a true patriot who ensured the growth of nationhood through his profession”, said President Kenyatta.
“I am deeply saddened by his death”, the President added.
President Kenyatta praised Professor Okombo’s contribution to the development of sign language, which, he said, had helped ensure equity between Kenyans by removing undue hindrances.
Prof. Okombo leaves behind a large body of work. President Kenyatta expressed his belief that it would not be forgotten, and that it would remain a point of reference for scholars and practitioners both now and in time to come.
The President closed with a message of consolation for the family, telling them that his thoughts and prayers were with them in this moment of grief.
The President also sent a message of condolence to the family of the late Gilbert Kabere M’Mbijiwe who passed on today, and who served as a minister for Agriculture in President Moi’s government.
President Kenyatta said the late Gilbert M’Mbijiwe was an astute politician who had placed his long experience of politics and public service at the disposal of Kenyans; who had contributed greatly to the growth of agriculture in Kenya; and who had served with dedication and zeal.
The President prayed that his family would be granted the grace to bear the loss.