Late Mutula Kilonzo: A Gifted Lawyer -turned –Education- extra-ordinaire
After the sudden demise of former Education minister Mutula Kilonzo at his Maanzoni home in April 2013, the knacks and sunk he boldly introduced in the Education sector cannot be whisked away. Even as the new government takes center stage on its education agenda the late open-minded senator rest a happy man. Henry Onyango puts the order into perspective.
The death of former Makueni senator and senior counsel Mutula Kilonzo is not getting away from Kenyans any time soon.
The former Education miniser who served as Nairobi Metropolitan minister and later at the Justice and Constitutional affairs docket absence in the government has been a big blow to the education sector.
Former Makueni senator the late Mutula Kilonzo
During his short stint at the Education ministry the late Senator Kilonzo was able to revolutionalize the sector due to his open-mindedness in addressing real issues.
His input in addressing the teachers’ demands was adequate as he was able to solicit funds from the treasury to salvage the marauding teachers strike after they had warned over the same.
During the recently concluded Makueni senatorial by-elections voters of the county showed their love they had for the departed senator when they overwhelmingly voted for his son Mutula Kilonzo junior ruthlessly beating his closest rival Prof .Philip Kaloki of the Jubilee alliance.
Earlier the late Kilonzo’s daughter,Kethi Kalonzo attempt to contest for the seat had been quashed by the court ruling that blocked her from vying for the coveted post. Kethi has since sued Independent Electoral Boundaries Review commission (IEBC) to offer evidence that they used against her in the court ruling.
The late senator Kilonzo explosive mini-skirts scenario was another mind boggling exercise that according to critics, showed his true colors in approaching real-time issues with sobriety.
Sections of the catholic nuns were adamant that Kilonzo had to apologize to them and to the country over the mini-skirts case.
Church leaders and Muslim preachers equally pressurized the then Education minister to resign claiming that he had lowered the country’s morals by allowing school girls to wear mini-skirts.
The late senator was adamant. He never retracted his statements instead he was quoted saying that his sentiments and stance had served real purpose and would stand the test of time.
Educated at Mbooni Primary School and Machakos High School before joining University of Dar es Salaam in 1969 graduating with a First Class Honors’ Degree in Law, the first in the East African region, the late former Makueni senator’s presence in the Education industry attracted insurmountable changes.
Being a no-nonsense man, he was not only a public figure but a force to reckon with legal wise and who really said what he liked supporting with the wittiest clauses possible.
Former Prime minister and CORD leader Raila Odinga described the late senator’s death as a big blow to the achievement of the county set goals and would be missed by his compatriots.
With his controversial sudden death on the night of Friday, April 26 2013, has set apart gaps in both the Education sector and the Law industry where he diligently served with zeal.
The former senior lawyer and high court advocate who too owned a law firm had also represented Mbooni constituency in the parliament for one term in parliament after he had served as a nominated member in the 8th parliament.
After battling it out in the corridors of justice which he was eminent also for been the Constitutional Minister during the promulgation of Kenya’s new constitution by the retired head of state Mwai Kibaki.
The late Kilonzo replaced Professor Ongeri in Ministry for Education and his big win moments in Education included the ban on holiday tuition in schools that was seen as having led to work overload on students.
He served in government as Education minister until the end of the ten -year Kibaki era and quit to join his learned friends in senate which constitutes of the 21st Century debaters of the digital world.
The late senator Mutula was among the CORD luminary ‘think-tank’ alongside former Prime Minister and ODM leader, Mr. Raila Odinga, the former VP and Wiper leader Mr. Musyoka, immediate senator for Kangundo, the vocal Machakos senator Johnstone Muthama among other great coalition team players.
Despite Cord losing in the race and considering a court petition, the late Mutula’s presence was stood ‘noble’ like never in the whole process.
The ‘ master’ of law in his last days was so much eager to see the journey towards a devolved Kenya but as it goes nature has no medicine, he lived his life well and achieved tremendously both in his career and the public sector at large.
Mr. Kilonzo spent most of his free time and weekends at his Maanzoni lodge which is also a wildlife sanctuary supervising work and enjoying the wonderful view of animals in his unique ranch.
Mutula’s sudden departure still remains a theory despite the many attempts by his family and the Kenyan Government in determining the truth on what could have led his death.
His legacy speaks for itself; his memories will forever ring as fresh as now in the minds of Kenyans of our time, his one in a million witty and intellect job will fill books of history.