The Luo Council of Elders will hold elections next month to pick the successor of former chairman (Ker) Willis Otondi, who died in February.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who is the patron of the council, said the elders will pay their last respects to the late Otondi at his Nyahera home in Kisumu West on June 10, 2023.
Speaking during a meeting with the elders at Mama Grace Onyango Social Center in Kisumu, Odinga said the exercise, which is part of the elders’ rituals, set the stage for the election of the new leader.
“This is the first meeting the elders are having after the death of Ker Willis Otondi, who was buried in March. The meeting was called to brainstorm on how to strengthen the council and elect a successor,” he said.
The election of the new chairman, popularly referred to as Ker, will involve elders from all sub-counties in the Nyanza region.
Odinga, who was accompanied by National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi and Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr. Mathews Owili, said the council was an important institution in the community charged with upholding the rich Luo cultural heritage.
Besides culture, the council of elders, he added, plays a critical role in dispute resolution, marriage, domestic violence, and the adoption of modern lifestyles.
“Culture is not static; it is dynamic. We must always discard old practices and embrace new ways, and at the same time teach our children in order to strengthen our rich cultural heritage,” he said.
Otondi, who was the ninth chairman of the Luo Council of Elders, was laid to rest on March 4, 2023, and will be remembered for rallying the Luo community to foster peaceful coexistence with other communities.
During his reign, he championed the socioeconomic, cultural, and political interests of the community, besides reaching out to elders from other communities to foster national cohesion.
Source: Kenya News Agency