President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday morning, December 11 unveiled the statue of Kenyan independence hero, pan-Africanist and former Cabinet Minister, the late Ronald Gideon Ngala on Ronald Ngala Street in Nairobi CBD.
Photos seen by Viral Tea showed the new statue standing tall in view of pedestrians and motorists using the road, with the posture of the late Ronald Ngala waving to the masses with his walking stick.
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To facilitate the unveiling, one side of the street, which is a terminus for several Nairobi matatus including those plying the Umoja and Githurai 45 routes, was closed to traffic on Saturday.
“One side of Ronald Ngala in Nairobi CBD is closed, no motorist allowed looks like there some function near where Githurai mats stop. Alternative route advised if drive along that route,” a pedestrian was quoted by Ma3Route on Twitter.
The Head of State was accompanied by Sports CS Amina Mohamed and Head of Public Service Dr Joseph Kinyua among other senior government officials during the unveiling of the statue.
Also present was the family of the late political supremo, celebrated for ‘majimboism’, a precursor of modern-day devolution, led by his son and former long-serving Cabinet Minister, Hon Noah Katana Ngala.
The unveiling follows Uhuru’s return from Tanzania where he oversaw the signing of eight bilateral agreements after bilateral talks between Kenyan and Tanzanian delegations that he led alongside his Tanzanian counterpart Samia Suluhu Hassan at State House in Dar es Salaam.
On Sunday, December 12, he is expected to inaugurate the refurbished Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi while at the same capacity hosting the Jamhuri Day celebrations from there, expected to draw roughly 11,000 people under strict COVID-19 protocols.
The late Ronald Ngala was a politician who served as leader of the Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU) political party and has been standing by it from its formation in 1960 until it was dissolved in 1964.
He was born in 1922 at Gotani in Kilifi County. In 1929 the family moved to Vishakani near Kaloleni, which became his permanent residence.
Ngala attended the Alliance High School and Makerere University College where he got a teaching diploma. He worked as a teacher in the coastal region before being promoted to be the headmaster of Mbale Secondary School in Taita-Taveta District. In 1952 he was transferred to Buxton School in Mombasa where he served as the principal.
Ngala was believed to have played a role in the release of Kenya’s founding father the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and his KADU party fell short of the Kenya African National Union (KANU) in the 1961 legislative council elections. However, its leaders had refused to form a government until Mzee Kenyatta was released from house arrest, which happened later that year.
He was made Minister of Cooperatives and Social Services in the Kenyatta government before he rose to become one of KANU’s vice-presidents at the 1966 Limuru Conference in which ODM leader Raila Odinga’s father Oginga Odinga was ejected from the party. He remained active in government until he died in a road accident in 1972 under suspicious circumstances.