How Magoha remained loyal to Uhuru to his death
Months after he exited the Ministry of Education as its cabinet secretary, the late Prof George Magoha continued honoring the man who appointed him to this top government position- former president Uhuru Kenyatta.
Following his sudden death on January 24, 2023, at the Nairobi Hospital in Nairobi County, condolence messages to his widow, Dr Barbara Magoha and their son, Dr Michael Magoha, continued pouring in online while other eminent persons in Kenya went to condole with the family at their home.
Among these eminent persons was ODM party leader Raila Odinga who visited and condoled with Dr Barbara Magoha, saying he was deeply saddened to learn of the academic giant’s death which happened after he suffered cardiac arrest.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Prof. George Magoha, a transformational leader, illustrious scholar, dedicated public servant, and distinguished medical doctor who left an indelible mark on our country’s education system. We will remember him for his incredible intellect, wit, and ability to inspire and challenge us to do our best. My condolences go out to his family and colleagues. May he Rest In Eternal Peace,” Mr Odinga said.
The media captured Mr Odinga hugging and comforting Prof Magoha’s widow in pictures that for the very first time gave a glimpse into the Magoha’s home.
Prominently placed on a side cupboard in the living room were photos of the late professor in a graduation gown and overseeing the graduation of an unidentified university. Set up prominently next to these photographs of the late Magoha’s celebrated achievements was former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s portrait. There are no signs of President William Ruto’s photos in the house.
It is a tradition for government officials to have the president’s portraits in their offices but not their homes as is in the case of the Magoha home. Portraits of former presidents at home tend to signify deep respect to the appointment authority and head of state.
“It is unfortunate and painful that we’ve lost my friend Prof George Magoha at a time when his family is mourning his brother,” the former President said as he wished the Magoha family God’s comfort during this difficult period of immense grief.
Former head of state has since ordered for the formation of a committee headed by his former super-CS Fred Matiang’i to work together with the family of Prof Magoha to ensure that he was given a befitting send off.