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Leaders condole death of Magadi’s peace icon

Former Governor Dr David Nkedianye has described the late ODM politician, as an extremely knowledgeable, articulate and respectable leader

By Our Reporter

Governor Joseph ole Lenku, among other county leaders across political divide, have condoled with the family and friends of former Magadi Ward MCA Peter Pariken, who passed on last evening at the Magadi hospital.

“The late Pariken was an able leader who steered his community well, when he served as their civic leader some years ago,” said the governor through a post on his Facebook page.

Former Governor Dr David Nkedianye described the late ODM politician, who has been unwell for quite some time, as an extremely knowledgeable, articulate and respectable leader, and whose political career, dating back to 2002 where he was elected Shompole Councillor, remains an epitome of focussed leadership.

Pariken and former Mosiro Ward MCA Peter Kurinyo (who also passed on in April 2016) were the only elected ODM lawmakers in the past regime. The latter’s seat was thereby succeeded by the incumbent Peter Tirishe after he won a by-election.

On his part, Kajiado West MP George Sunkuyia, who was the Deputy Speaker, also described his former colleague as, “a dedicated and exceptional leader whose prowess in the line of duty was supreme. He was dependable, approachable, took pride in his work and endeavored to put things right.”

Ewuaso Oonkidongi Ward representative Justus Ngusur, also in his message of condolence said: “We have lost a great mind and a very dedicated leader who always wished for the good of the people.”

Pariken, who was elected to the defunct Olkejuado County Council on a Party of National Unity ticket, is said to have been the late Prof George Saitoti’s point man in Magadi.

His is said to have capitalized on his camaraderie with then influential Kajiado North MP, to not only initiate various development projects in Shompole, but also saw “many” people get job opportunities at the national government.

According to Reagan Siamito, a youth leader from Shompole area, “the late Pariken initiated many water projects and constructed several roads in our area during his tenure.”

Former TNA nominated MCA Charles Lekanet, who hails from the ward, said the late Pariken was a unifying factor both at the County Assembly, where there were only two ODM members and also in the Magadi Ward.

“He was a very honest person, who would go beyond party lines to work with everyone.

He also never harbored grudges. “I personally differed with him on different occasions, especially in matters Magadi Chemicals with the community. He was loyal to the company, hence my difference with him, but he never had any bad blood with me,” said Lekanet.

Three weeks to his demise, Lekanet revealed, he called together opinion leaders from the area, where he urged them to consider endorsing and electing “good leaders” to the Ward in the next general election.

It was however not clear whether he had ambitions to contest against the incumbent MCA and deputy speaker Joseph Masiaya.

Brighton Dickson, another vocal youth leader, and who is eyeing the MCA’s seat, said: “Mr Pariken has been truly a peace ambassador in our Ward. Through his leadership acumen the community has always found a way to navigate tumultuous moments that threatened their relations with the company.”

He is also hailed to have been leading passionate appeals trying to resolve smoldering differences between County Health Minister Esther Somoire and Masiaya.

In the past week, he begun to complain about chest congestion and he was admitted at the hospital, and was discharged on Friday. His health further deteriorated on Sunday evening, where he is reported to experience profuse sweating before his last breathe yesterday at around 5pm.

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