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Kisumu City Residents appeal for renaming of social hall to heroine Grace Onyango – Weekly Citizen

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A SECTION of Kisumu City Residents has petitioned Governor Prof Peter Anyang Nyong’o to consider renaming the now refurbished infamous Social Hall in honor of Mama Grace Onyango who is the first woman Mayor and MP in Kenya. Through their Association, the residents say Mama Grace Onyango’s immense contribution to the country cannot be ignored hence it is better for her to be recognized. Kisumu City Residents Voice Chairman Audi Ogada has appealed to Governor Nyong’o to consider involving the public through a process of public participation process before renaming the said public utility.

Grace Onyango

Audi says there are claims that Kisumu Governor wants to rename the said facility which has been refurbished at an estimated cost of sh60 million to former Kisumu Town West Member of Parliament Job Omino. “His excellency the Governor of the great County of Kisumu Prof Anyang Nyong’o is set to rename Kisumu’s Social Centre to Job Omino without involving residents through Public Participation in accordance with the spirit and value of the constitution,” Ogada says.  The residents say Mama Grace is an undisputed heroine and the time to honor her is now hence they have fully endorsed her. The residents at the same time have urged the county Assembly of Kisumu to also embark on passing a law that shall guide such intention clearly in the future.

Anyang Nyong’o

“We want to urge the County Assembly of Kisumu to consider coming up with legislation on renaming artifacts within Kisumu County to persons who have immensely contributed to the society,” they say. Grace Onyango is a woman of firsts since her days as a young politician in the early 60s. Born Grace Monica Aketch Onyango more than 90 years ago, Mama Grace was the first Kenyan Woman Mayor elected in Kisumu in 1965. She was also the first woman to be elected MP for Kisumu Town in 1969 and served until 1983. Since then, Mama Grace Onyango has been living a very quiet life in Kisumu as she enjoys her sunset years. Two years ago in July 2018 both Elected and Nominated female Members of Parliament promised their full support to a yet to be tabled Bill aiming at recognizing living heroes when they visited Mama Grace Onyango.

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Job Omino

Under the banner of the Kenya Women Parliamentarians Association {KEWOPA}, both elected and nominated female members of parliament serving in the current Parliament have agreed to support the new Bill that will be introduced before the House for discussion and adoption in the near future. Speaking in Kisumu when they visited ailing Veteran Politician and Kenya’s first female Member of Parliament and First female Kisumu Mayor Grace Aketch Onyango at her Home in Kisumu, the MPs said the plight of those heroes who are still alive should be addressed.

Rosa Buyu

They said that it is quite unfortunate that such people who have greatly contributed towards the opening up of political space and leadership have not been recognized by the state when still alive. Led by Kisumu County Women Representative Rosa Buyu and nominated Senator Rose Nyamunga, the MPs said it is high time the National Government fully recognizes such great people who have contributed immensely to the political development of this country. Buyu suggests that the National Government should set aside some funds for recognizing various heroes and heroines wherever they are in this country, adding that there are no needs to recognize a hero only at the time of his death.

Rose Nyamunga

Buyu says a lot of money that is being lost through the rampant corruption should be channeled towards such kitty in helping the heroes while still living on earth. “Corruption should be fought at all cost but as we do this let us also recognize our heroes by even setting aside some funds which can help them while still living,” Buyu says. Buyu says through their Association in Parliament, they have started to recognize all the heroes across the country and will ensure that they champion their interests and what they stand for.

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