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Grace Onyango to be laid to rest on 31st March

Grace Onyango, Kenya’s first female Member of Parliament will be buried on March 31 at her home in Gem, Siaya County, the family has announced.

Grace passed on aged 98 while undergoing treatment at a Kisumu hospital on March 8.

During a press briefing on Friday, the burial committee chairperson Eng. Israel Agina said that the committee has finalized plans for the burial of the late Mama Grace.

Her removal from the Aga Khan Hospital morgue will take place on Wednesday, March 29 at 10.30 am, for a requiem mass at St. Stephen Cathedral Kisumu.

After the mass, the body will be taken to Mama Grace Onyango Social Hall and the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga sports complex for public viewing.

Later in the evening, she will be taken to her home in Tom Mboya Estate, Kisumu for a night vigil.

On the morning of March 30, the hearse will leave Kisumu for Nyapiedha village, Gem Sub County for prayers and after the church service, the body will be taken to her home in Sidende Village for a night vigil ahead of the burial the following day.

Eng. Agina however stated that there was a proposal for the body to be taken to the National Assembly to be feted by the legislators.

Onyango Ralieu, a committee member observed that the burial rites of the nonagenarian would be slightly different from that of the late Willis Otondi, chairperson of the Luo Council of elders who was buried on March 4.

In her case, the rites of ‘tero buru’ will be conducted by women on the day of her burial as opposed to men who conducted a similar fete for Otondi.

Mama Grace joined politics in 1969 when she was elected the Kisumu Town MP – becoming the first woman to hold that position in the country.

The iconic legend was also a trailblazer for the female folk by serving in different capacities including being the mayor of Kisumu town, the first female Deputy Speaker at the National Assembly, the first woman secretary general of the Luo Council and the first woman councilor of Kaloleni ward in Kisumu.

By Gabriel Odhiambo & Centrine Ogonyo

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