MEMORIES FROM THE NEWS

COMMENTS IN NEWSPAPERS ON THE DEATH OF HON. NICHOLAS BIWOTT

 

 

 

 

 

THE STANDARD JULY 12

“We had a close working relationship as Rift Valley leaders and supported each other in all manner of leadership.” Former President Moi

“Biwott provided leadership in eight diverse ministerial dockets besides representing Kieyo South for 28 years.” Former President Mwai Kibaki

“He never ceased to insist that young men and women take every opportunity to improve themselves.” President Uhuru Kenyatta

“Biwott was a distinguished public official who served three governments with distinction.” Deputy President William Ruto

“We have lost a very smart person whom I enjoyed working with while I was in the civil service. I learnt a lot from him because he was very clever.” Dr Sally Kosgei

“He was a source of laughter for those around him and will be greatly missed.” Dr Sally Kosgei

“Whatever people want to say, Biwott was a very brilliant and astute politician.” Moses Wetang’ula

“I personally had an interaction with him in Parliament and quite often he would consult me on legal matters, whenever you gave him proper advice he appreciated”. Moses Wetang’ula

“Biwott was a quick and calculative thinker. A shrewd businessman.” Franklin Bett

“… he was a bit complicated in socialising. He was a reserved person”. Franklin Bett

“When he was MP for Keiyo South, he committed himself to fundraising for projects in the constituency. He would do about 10 fundraisers in a day. I remember one day I was with him when he moved to 10 fundraisers in a chopper. He would move from one event to another in a chopper and supervise them.” Franklin Bett

“For his assertiveness in doing things, he would be mistaken for a bully. He was pushy in some of the things he engaged in.” Franklin Bett

“He continued with his development agenda [in Keiyo South] even after I took over from him in 2009. When I campaigned against him in 2007, many said I was risking my life by competing against such a powerful man. This was mere speculation because he conceded defeat.” Jackson Kiptanui MP

“I had the privilege of competing with him in 2013. While a student, he mentored me politically and even shaped my life by helping me pay school fees.” Senator Kipchumba Murkomen

 SATURDAY NATION JULY 15 

“He never forgot where he came from. This is why he spent decades building schools and hospitals, and spearheading every other kind of development. May his generosity never be forgotten.” President Uhuru Kenyatta

“He was generous. He helped me build a number of secondary schools such as a Kipsuter.” Mr Keoch, chairman of Lake Victoria South Water Services Board

THE STAR JULY 12

“Biwott was a dedicated public servant, an astute businessman and a philanthropist who initiated community projects to alleviate the suffering of people he represented in Keiyo. Biwott was a dependable friend and his public service had an impact on the Nation.” Former President Daniel arap Moi

“Throughout his life in government, his diligence and intelligence shone though. These were the qualities that propelled his rise through the ranks of government; and these are the qualities that he put at the disposal of the presidents he served, and of his countrymen. They were balanced by his private warmth, his wit, his attention to detail, and his love of family.” President Uhuru Kenyattta

“All those who knew him well also remember two other aspects of his character. First, his deep devotion to the education of young Kenyans. He funded many scholarships and never ceased to insist that young men and women take every opportunity to improve themselves. Many of us have cause to be thankful for this aspect of his character. Second, his dedication to uplifting the community and the country. He never forgot where he came from which is why he spent decades building schools and hospitals, and every other kind of development.” President Uhuru Kenyatta 

“Biwott played a central role in the formation of the modern Kenya state at a critical moment in our history, when it was vital to have every hand on deck to ensure that Kenya’s first transfer of power went smoothly and ensured national unity at a very tense and trying time.” Raila Odinga 

“The late Biwott served in various capacities in the Cabinet, while representing Keiyo South constituency in Parliament. Together with the late GG Kariuki, they represent the passing of the first generation of young technocrats at Independence who later graduated into eminent political leaders of their time.” Musalia Mudavadi

“Despite his larger-than-life personality as the Total Man, I knew Biwott as the least publicity-seeking politician”. Musalia Mudavadi

“Biwott’s legacy of developing education infrastructure in Keiyo remains a shining example.” Musalia Mudavadi 

THE STAR JULY 13

“Biwott embraced hardworking people. Those who listened to his advice be it in business or family life, he would help them. Those who attempted to play games with him would find it difficult to have his attention. He knew his genuine friends.” Former National Assembly Speaker Alex Magelo

THE STAR JULY 20

“Biwott was a great son of our region and we mourn his death, but more importantly, we will cherish the legacy he has left us. He played a key role in the region.” Governor Alex Tolgos [Elgeyo Marakwet] 

DAILY NATION JULY 13

A patriot who never tired of serving Kenya [Statement issued by Amina Mohamed]

I was privileged and lucky to have worked with Nicholas Kipyator Kiprono Biwott and to have considered him a friend. He was highly respected in international trade circles.

He counted the Trade ministers of the African continent, US, EU, Japan, Australia, the Middle East and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries among close friends. They sought him out at ministerial meetings for counsel and support.

Most of them often travelled to Nairobi to consult with him, and, graciously and without fail, he met each of them, whether expected or on a detour from a neighbouring country.

It was amazing to watch him work, never giving up on positions he felt were critical for the growth of trade and investment in our country. He was thoroughly disciplined and instilled a sense of purpose in all who worked closely with him. He never tired of defending our great country and, for that reason, never left a meeting room before business was over — just in case Kenya lost an opportunity.

In many of the conversations I had with him, even as he negotiated Agoa and ensured that Kenya was the first country to sign and ratify it, he worried about the youth and the need to create opportunities.

Agoa would, he said, help us export our way out of poverty.

The 2001 WTO Doha Ministerial Conference could easily have been given his name: No one worked harder or more diligently to ensure a deal was struck. He earned the world’s respect and admiration as a tough but fair negotiator who stayed on an issue until its resolution.

He saved the ACP-EU trade arrangement, which was threatened by two groups of countries who objected to an exemption under the WTO Trade Rules. He negotiated through the night for the exemption and got it. Without him, the ACP-EU trade arrangement, as we know it, would have changed dramatically in 2001.

Biwott would fly thousands of miles for a one-hour meeting if he was convinced it would help our farmers or businesses or just open new opportunities.

Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs