Ex-Bonchari MP eulogised as assertive
Emeka-Mayaka Gekara and Robert Ochoro
Former Bonchari MP Protus Kebati Momanyi who died on Saturday was a man of many firsts.
The 82-year-old, who died of diabetes at a Nairobi hospital was among the founders of the Department of Engineering at the University of Nairobi and was the first lecturer there to attain a Doctorate of Philosophy (Phd) in Engineering.
He studied engineering at Sapienza University ‘ Universte de Rome’ in Italy.
Momanyi was the first MP for Bonchari constituency when it was established in 1988.
The Italian trained engineer was also the first Opposition MP to defect back to Kanu following entreaties by a weakened former President Daniel Moi after the 1992 multi-party polls.
It would be remembered that “campaign cash” given to then Ford Kenya leader Jaramogi Oginga Odinga for the subsequent by-election in Bonchari would lead to an implosion in the party.
Following the victory, the engineer, rejoined Moi’s cabinet where he served as minister for Tourism until his ouster in 1997 by Zebedeo Opore.
After his defeat, Momanyi retreated to his home in Borabu, Nyamira county, where he engaged in farming until his death.
At his Borabu farm, the staunch Catholic, reared more than 200 cows, 500 goats and 700 sheep.
Former Kisii South Kenya National Union of Teachers chairman Geoffrey Mogire described Momanyi as excessively humble and generous.
“Kebati used to attend funerals and support residents whenever he was requested. He was humble and down to earth despite his high level of education,” Mogire noted.
Family spokesman John Momanyi said the former MP would be buried on Friday.