Kenya strongman and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga says he saddened by the passing on of his longtime friend Aggrey Awori describing the late as a true manifestation of the spirit of East African integration and Pan-Africanism.
Through a letter he wrote to former Kenya Vice President Moody Awori who doubles as elder brother of the late Aggrey Awori, Odinga says “We join the Awori family and the people from all around the region in giving thanks for Aggrey’s remarkable life of service particularly to Kenya and Uganda. Our two families have a long history of friendship that started with our parents, Jaramogi Ogingi Odinga and Jeremiah Musungu Awori, the pioneer African Canon of Anglican Church in Kenya. As a young boy, I witnessed Canon Awori as a constant presence at our home to offer prayers whenever Jaramogi had a function. Out of the large Awori family, Aggrey became my closest friend out of these initial ties”
Mr Odinga says as a son of the region, Aggrey Awori served both Kenya and Uganda equally. He cited 1960 Rome Olympics when he represented Uganda but at the same time both were working together at the University of Nairobi and “witnessed him (Aggrey Awori) start the now famous School of Journalism from scratch”.
“At the University of Nairobi, he was an avid debater on issues of the day in Kenya and Uganda.Stronger believer in strong political parties. Aggrey returned to Uganda in the 1980s following Amin’s ouster and embarked on the reorganisation and strengthening of Milton Obote’s Uganda People’s Congress party. His activities encouraged us back in Kenya to organise and push for change.Aggrey later became a strong supporter of President Yoweri Museveni and became a member of parliament” Odinga wrote.
He further continued “I enjoyed every opportunity I had with him through the years and will always be deeply grateful for his kindness and inspiration he offered. Please accept our personal condolences, as well as those of the entire Jaramogi’s family. Our prayers are with you at this moment of sorrow”.
Mr Awori died yesterday in a Kampala hospital where he was admitted for sometime. He has been battling sickness related to old age. He was 82 years.