The Opposition was thrown into mourning yesterday following the sudden death of Kwale Senator Boy Juma Boy.
Several opposition functions planned in Kwale and Mombasa were cancelled following Boy’s death.
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and his secretary general Hassan Omar suspended functions in Mombasa after getting the news and eulogised the senator as a selfless leader.
A statement from the ODM headquarters in Nairobi quoted party leader Raila Odinga describing Boy’s death as saddening and crushing. He eulogised Boy as a defender of democracy, Panafricanism and devolution.
“We are saddened by the untimely death of Senator Boy Juma Boy,” said the statement that also described the lawmaker as a pillar within ODM and the National Super Alliance (NASA).
In Kwale, former Cabinet minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere cancelled a key rally at Kombani. Mombasa Governor Hassan Ali Joho had been scheduled to attend a rally where Mwakwere was to be received into the party following his defection from Jubilee.
Joho flew to Nairobi for meetings with Mr Odinga where they both received Boy’s body and were scheduled to accompany it, by flight, to Ukunda Airstrip in Kwale County.
“Coast and the whole nation have lost a good leader who defended his people and human rights,” said Joho.
President Uhuru Kenyatta described Boy as an astute politician, orator and defender of his people and the workers.
“His death was untimely and cruel. In this hour of sorrow, I convey my deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to Senator Boy Juma Boy’s family, relatives and the people of Kwale. My thoughts and prayers are with you,” the President said in a statement from State House Nairobi.
Raila, who had arrived in Mombasa to receive Mwakwere into ODM, flew back to Nairobi, alongside Joho after receiving news of Boy’s death.
Tears flowed freely as Kwale Woman Representative Zainab Chidzuga mourned the legislator whom she described as a friend.
Mwakwere who, at one point, inherited the Matuga parliamentary seat, once occupied by the deceased and his father Boy Juma, said the county and country have lost a great patriot who knew no hatred and a friend to everyone.
“I was to meet Raila and Joho at Kombani before heading to Kwale for lunch but at the Likoni ferry crossing, they received the bad news on the demise……we have lost our senator and this is a very big blow,” said Mwakwere who spoke in Ukunda.
Nominated MP Zuleikha Mohammed termed the death as unbelievable. “ODM has lost a great leader and a human rights champion. We pray that his family and friends may get the strength to bear the loss,” she said.
Kilifi Woman Representative Aisha Jumwa and Kibarani MCA Getrude Mwanyanje termed Boy’s death as a big blow to his family, friends and the country at large.
Speaking in Malindi, moments after he was pronounced dead, Jumwa said Boy was a key pillar in ODM and was highly depended, especially as the country heads into elections.
“We have received the news of the death of Senator Boy Juma Boy with sadness. I send my condolences to his family and friends,” Jumwa said.
She added: “The senator remained firm and stood with his party and people throughout, unlike other leaders who defected to Jubilee.”
Boy will be buried at his home in Vanga today under Muslim customs. The family said Boy was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi where he was transferred from Mombasa. Boy first joined Parliament as Matuga MP in 1983 after succeeding his father. He was elected senate in 2013.