CHARLES RUBIA, FIRST AFRICAN MAYOR OF NAIROBI, WHO CALLED FOR MULTI-PARTY DEMOCRACY, BURIED TODAY IN KENYA

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[Kenya\Burial of Charles Rubia]
Rubia who is renowned for his prominent role in the fight for the re-introduction of multi-party democracy in the early 1990s was buried today at his Karuigu-ini home near Kenol town, Muranga County.
Photo: Facebook

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta today joined mourners at the burial of Charles Rubia, Nairobi’s first African Mayor, who died on Dec. 23.

The late Charles Rubia served as a Member of Parliament for Starehe Constituency for 20 years uninterrupted, from 1969 during which he held several ministerial positions.

Rubia, 96, who is renowned for his prominent role in the fight for the re-introduction of multi-party democracy in early 1990's was buried today at his Karuigu-ini home near Kenol town, Muranga County. Rubia was imprisoned, at that time, by President Daniel Arap Moi for one year.

Speaking to mourners at the funeral service held at Kiriguini Primary School, the President urged Kenyans to emulate the values that leaders of Rubia's generation stood for such as patriotism, pursuit for justice and social order.

“Rubia loved peace, justice and good social order. If only 10 percent of us emulated what this man stood for Kenya will be a different country. He also loved hard work,” the President said adding that the late leader spent most of his life fighting for a better country and the rights of fellow Kenyans.

The President called on leaders to preach peace and unity and to use their freedom of expression to fight against corruption, tribalism and injustice which he said are vices that threaten Kenya's progress.

He said Rubia and his comrades in the second liberation struggle fought against oppression and assured that his administration will continue safeguarding those democratic gains including the rights to free speech and expression.

Leaders who spoke at the funeral service described how Rubia sacrificed his comfort to fight for a better Kenya.

Muranga Governor Mwangi wa Iria said Rubia fought for change and suffered in the struggle. He added that unlike those days now it is government that is initiating change.

Siaya Senator James Orengo said Muranga is home to many iconic leaders including Rubia, Kenneth Matiba and many more. Orengo said Rubia was at the forefront in ensuring the restoration of multi-party democracy.

The Siaya Senator also read a tribute on behalf of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga who said Rubia always succeeded in the daunting tasks he took on.

Muranga Senator Irungu Kangata narrated how he has been Rubia’s lawyer over the years while area MP Alice Wahome said the late was a fearless man who always spoke the truth. She said despite his status he remained humble and was accessible to all.

President Kenyatta also eulogized Rubia saying:

As the first African Mayor, Mzee Rubia was key to the development of Nairobi city, making it an economic hub for East and Central Africa. It was during his era, as the city father, that Nairobi earned the title, the green city in the sun, due to his outstanding efforts of keeping the city clean and orderly,” the President noted.

Besides politics, business and his prominent standing in national leadership, the President acknowledged the role played by the late Rubia in shaping Kenya's and the region's telecommunications sector having been a pioneer postmaster in the then East Africa Posts and Telecommunications Corporation. The Head of State said as a nationalist, Charles Rubia worked hard to improve the lives of all Kenyans by teaming up with like-minded leaders such as the late Kenneth Matiba in demanding for justice and respect for human rights by agitating for multi-party democracy.

“The political freedoms we enjoy today are as a result of the sacrifices made by Charles Rubia and other patriots who were ready to lay down their lives for the sake of good governance of our great nation. As an icon of Kenya’s vibrant multi-party democracy, we are greatly indebted to Mzee Rubia and his comrades in the second liberation struggle. It is therefore upon us, as a nation, to work together in unity and peace so as to make our country a better place for generations to come," the President said. “Rubia was a polished Kenyan, he was a committed and a devoted statesman who served all Kenyans, with distinction, irrespective of their backgrounds. His experience in public service and management saw him hold several ministerial positions.”

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