Michael Martin (Former Speaker UK)

The former Speaker of the House of Commons Michael Martin, Lord Martin of Springburn, who has died aged 72 after a short illness, was the first blue-collar worker to occupy one of the most senior posts in British public life. But he was also the first to resign the post in more than 300 years, after he lost the confidence of many members over his handling of the MPs’ expenses scandal in 2009.

His rise from a poverty-stricken and abusive family background in Glasgow to become the Speaker was a source of great pride, but it did not make him at ease in the job which he held for more than eight-and-a-half years. He was thin-skinned with a tendency to bluster and a poor grasp of Commons procedure and sometimes of the names of MPs.

His thick Glasgow accent earned him the jeering nickname of “Gorbals Mick”, a legitimate source of grievance against public school snobbery – though, as he pointed out, he actually came from an even more deprived part of the city, Anderston, north of the Clyde, not south of the river in the Gorbals: “Most of my friends would have considered there a step up.”

Martin’s father, also Michael, was a stoker on merchant ships with a tendency to alcoholism. He would beat up his wife Mary, a cleaner, when he came home on leave, so much so that she periodically took her children into hiding. The family home was a tenement with a shared outside toilet. Michael left school at 15 without qualifications and was apprenticed at a train engine manufacturers in Springburn, which would become his future constituency.

Working later at Rolls-Royce in Hillington he became a shop steward for the AUEW engineering workers’ union and, in his early 30s, a full-time organiser for Nupe, the public employees’ union. He also served as a Glasgow city councillor before becoming the MP for Springburn, a safe Labour seat where his majority never fell below 11,000, in May 1979. He held the seat until its absorption into Glasgow North East in 2005 and held that too until his resignation.

The Speakership had not traditionally been seen as a post for which to campaign, except discreetly and, by convention, it might have gone to a Conservative when Betty Boothroyd, previously a Labour MP, announced she was standing down. Such was Labour’s Commons dominance and so carefully had Martin cultivated new MPs, especially women elected for the first time in the landslide of 1997, that he was swept into office without much of the customary show of reluctance that Speakers are supposed to demonstrate. He became the first Roman Catholic to hold the post since the Reformation. However, partly because of the way he was elected, there were resentments – and not just from Tory MPs.

Complaints arose of him favouring Labour backbenchers over Tories in calling them at Question Time – Speakers by custom and practice leave their party allegiances behind – and there was uncertainty over his handling of the Chamber. He did not endear himself by his protectiveness of his dignity and the lack of an easy or genial manner towards MPs. He occasionally even insulted them from the chair. But he was capable of kindness, as when he stepped down to greet the mortally ill, newly re-elected Lib Dem MP Patsy Calton in 2005. “Welcome home, Patsy,” he said; Calton died three days later.

Martin quite soon became embroiled in rows over his own parliamentary expenses, even before the swelling scandal that derailed his career in 2009. There was the cost of refurbishing Speaker’s House – £1.7m by 2008 – and also questions over £4,000 in taxi bills incurred by his wife Mary in going out food shopping: refreshments for official entertaining are provided by the Commons caterers. Questions were also raised about the extent of his air travel claims and over the £20,000 bill submitted by Carter-Ruck, the libel lawyers, called in to defend him from stories in the press. He was also criticised for not intervening to protect the Tory MP Damian Green when police searched his office.

Such costs were approved but perhaps made him more defensive when in 2009 newspaper reports exposed MPs’ exorbitant expenses claims. As the crisis grew with more and more MPs called to account, Martin initially strove to curtail the coverage under parliamentary privilege, but it could not be covered up. It soon became evident that support for him was draining away23 MPs signed a motion of no confidence.

Instead of offering a defence of his position, Martin announced that he would be standing down – the first Speaker to do so since Sir John Trevor in 1695. He told MPs: “Since I came into the house 30 years ago I have always felt [it] was at its best when it is united. In order that unity can be maintained I have decided that I will relinquish office.” He stood down the following month, applauded in a demonstration orchestrated by the Labour whips.

Although he entered the Lords as a crossbench peer, Martin retained an interest in Labour affairs, earlier this month telling the Guardian that he was appalled by the row over anti-semitism in the party and calling for a one-day conference of party members to sort out the issue.

Martin is survived by his wife, Mary (nee McLay), whom he married in 1966, and by his son, Paul, an MSP, and daughter, Mary Ann.

 Michael John Martin, Lord Martin of Springburn, politician and trade unionist, born 3 July 1945; died 29 April 2018

– Reported by the Guardian UK


Mzee James Shennah Ole Naeku

Mrs. Martha Naeku and her children, humbly accept God’s will to rest their patriarch, Mzee James Shennah Ole Naeku.

Mzee Naeku fought the good fight, flashed the race and kept the faith. He passed on peacefully in the morning of Thursday the 26th day of April 2018, at his house in Nairobi.

The late James was a loving husband of Martha Naeku for 56 years and a doting father of Diana Twala and the late Stephen Twala, Eleanor Nchoe and Eng. Ole Nchoe, the late Silas and Christine Naeku, Eric and Irene Naeku, Charity Meja and Francis Meja, Lilian Siparo and Patrick Siparo, Catherine Naeku, Dorothy and Eliakim Maki, Timothy and Dr. Sirnat Naeku. James was the son to the late Kalool Naeku and Margaret Nadungu Enkop- Repongu.

He was a brother of the late Reteti Ole Esho of Oloolongoi and a step brother of Pastor Ologolimot Naeku, Nailantei, Ndiyoine, David Tobiko amongst others. He was Son- in law of the late Mpaayer Ole Kinaiyia and the late Mariamu Nolngenjere Kerore. He was uncle of the Ethos and in- law of the Mpaayei’s He was a guardian to Jane Kayioni, Josephine Nzioka, Janet Nakola, Grace Saiyua, Nasreku Topa, Emily Naeku, Kuresoi Sankan, among others, and a friend to many. He had immense love for the 31 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren that he leaves behind

Friends and family are meeting daily from 5:00pm for prayers and funeral arrangements at his OIngenchemi (Rrotian) residence, Oltalet Mall in Narok town and at Charter Hall (City Hall) in Nairobi.

There will be a funeral service to celebrate his life at The All Saints Cathedral, Nairobi on Thursday the 3rd of May 2018 between 12 Noon and 2 p.m.

The Cortege leaves Lee Funeral Home (Nairobi) on Saturday 5th of May 2018 at 6:30am for the celebration of his life and burial at his OIngenchemi (Rrotian) farm, along the Narok- Nakuru Road. from 10.30 am.

Psalms 37:25 ” I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread”

Naomi Njeri Kariuki

We regret to announce the death of Naomi Njeri Kariuki of Upper Gilgil Scheme. Tumaini Location, Nyandarua County, who passed away on 26th April 2018.

Daughter of the late Karanja & Wanjiku. Wife of the late Simon Kariuki Kirigo. Mother of Jonah Kamau (formerly of Caltex), Moses Karanja (formerly of Posta Telecommunications), Nancy Wairimu Munyua of Nakuru, Willy Dennis Ribiro (formerly of Caltex), the late James Kahunyo (Chivu), Catherine Leiyan, Jimmy Gichinga of Picha Studio Kikuyu, Mary Kagure Maina and Sarah Mumbi Muchiri.

Mother-in-law of Grace Wangeci Kamau, Njeri Karanja, Isaac Munyua, Lucy Wandia Ribiro, Ruth Wambui Kahunyo , Dr. Francis Ole Sempele. Damaris Wambui Gichinga, the late Joe Maina Mbugua and Jimi James Muchiri Grandmother & Great grandmother of many. Sister of the late Kahunyo, the late Ngugi, the late Kamau, the late Kariuki, & the late Mumbi.

Prayers and funeral arrangement meetings will be held daily at High View Estate Phase I Hse No. B38 from 5.30pm, as well as her home in Tumaini.

The cortege will leave Montezuma Funeral Home for Tumaini on Friday 4th May at 6:30am.

The Funeral Service will be held at ACK Mwitheri Tumaini from 10.30am, followed by the Burial at her Upper Gilgil Scheme, Tumaini Home.

Rachel Wariara Kago

It is with humble acceptance of God’s will that we announce the promotion to glory of Rachel Wariara Kago of Kawaida, Kiambu County.

Daughter of the Late George Mbugua Gatambi and Gladys Wanjiru Mbugua. She was wife of Jacob Kago wa Ferinado. Mother of Carol Wanjiru Mbogo, Bernard Njuguna, Agnes Wambui, Teresiah Wanjiru, George Mbugua, Mary Wairimu and the late Michael Njuhigu. Sister of John Gachuma (Jonsaga), Mary Wairimu (Gachorui), Bob Mungai (Donholm), Lucy Ngonyo (Gitithia), Loise Njoki, Beatrice Wanjiku (Karia), Michael Kamau (Banana) and the late Joseph Gikura, Bernard Njenga and Fredrick Munyui. She was cousin, auntie and grandmother to many.

The cortege leaves Kenyatta National Hospital Mortuary at 8am on Wednesday 2nd May 2018 for a funeral service at St. Michael’s Catholic Parish (Otiende) at 11am.

Burial will take place thereafter at Langata Cemetery.

The ones we love are never gone, they live within us.

Sleep well Rachel.

Rosemary Ing’ahiza Mwenesi

14/09/1950 – 23/04/2018

It is with deep sorrow and humble acceptance of God’s will that we announce the death of Rosemary Ing’ahiza Mwenesi which occurred at Melchizedek Hospital, Nairobi.

Daughter of the late Matthew Musalia Mwenesi & the late Lenah Kagika Mwenesi. Sister of the late Hon. Janet Mwenesi, Eng. Edward Mwenesi, Dr Bilha Mwenesi, the late Lily Mwenesi, Stephen Mwenesi, Dr. Musimbi Ondeko, the late Francis Mwenesi and Hon. Andrew Mwenesi. Sister in law of Rose Mwenesi, Dr. Halima Mwenesi, Dr. John Ondeko, Betty Mwenesi and Eunice Ahuga. Niece/Cousin/ Aunty of the Vitas, Onyinos, Kihambas, Indires, Omidos, Kaigas, Kidakes, Kulumbas, Mudogas, Saidis and many others.

A fundraiser will be held on Tuesday, 01/05/2018 at Friends International Center, Ngong Road at 2pm. Contributions can be made to Paybill Number 262904. Account name: Rosemary Mwenesi.

Funeral service will be held on Wednesday 02/05/2018 at 4pm at the same venue.

The cortege leaves Montezuma mortuary on Thursday, 03/05/018 at 7am.

Burial service will be at 10am on Saturday, 05/05/2018 in Kigama, North Maragoli, Vihiga County.

Samuel Mbuvi Waita

It is with humble acceptance of God’s will that we announce the death of Samuel Mbuvi Waita of King’oti Village. Matungulu Sub-county, and Machakos County.

Son of the late Jonathan Waita Mulangu and Esther Mumbua Waita. Step-son of Ann Kamene Waita and Francis Kitungo. Loving husband of Martha Mutete Mbuvi. Father of Ann Nduku Kioko, the late Edward Wambua, Jonathan Mbuvi of Joetech General Supplies Ltd, Rebecca Mwikali, the late Bernard Kaloki, Joel Matata and Mary Mueni.

Father-in-law of Pius Kavita of KPLC, Hellen Kamene of Joetech General Supplies Ltd, Hellen Kiloko among others. Grandfather of John Kavita, Samwel Waita of JKUAT, Mary Nzula, Maureen, Jonathan, Joseph, Kelvin, Eunice among others. Great grandfather of Mumo, Nduku, Kioko among others.

Friends and relatives are meeting daily for prayers and funeral arrangements at his home and at Garden Square Nairobi.

The cortege leaves Montezuma Funeral Home Machakos on Thursday 3rd May 2018 at 8.00am. Funeral service will be held at Maembeni Salvation Army from 10.00am and thereafter burial at his home.

For me to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1.21

Shantelle Musengya Nzive

 17/11/2010 – 26/04/2018  

It is with profound sorrow and humble acceptance  of God’s will that we announce the passing on of our dearly loved daughter, Shantelle Musengya Nzive after a short illness.

Daughter of Felix Nzive Mutua and Catherine Kinyili. Sister of Tiffany of Happyland School, Leon and Norah. Grand-daughter, niece and cousin to many.

Family and friends are meeting at Norwich Union House, 7th floor Room I, Nairobi on Monday (30.04.2018) and Tuesday (01.05.2018) starting from 5.00 pm, for funeral arrangements.

The cortege leaves Gertrude Hospital Mortuary, Nairobi at 7 00 am on Thursday 3rd May, 2018 for burial at Kasaini Village, Kathiani Location, Machakos County.

Stephen Njugi Gachogu

In Loving Memory

Though it seems like just yesterday, it is now 20 years since you were promoted to glory.

The special memories of you always linger. For us, you are not gone; you live among us every day. Your presence has never left us as we hold onto the values and virtues that you taught us.

Fondly remembered by your loving wife Rose, Children, Grandchildren, Relatives and friends.

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die”  Thomas Campbell  

Mercy Dora Evojo

 Sunrise 1988 — Sunset 2018

It is with humble acceptance of God’s will that we regret to announce the promotion to glory of Mercy Dora Evojo on Monday 23rd April 2018 at Kenyatta National Hospital.

She was the daughter of the late Dishon Evojo and Lydia Evojo. Sister of the Late Hellen Minayo, Roland Agusyoma, Sally Ochieng, Carol Samjee, the late Nelly Andenyi and Brian Evita. Sister-in-law of Crispin Ochieng, David Samjee, Lear and Evalyne. Mother of Shanice. Aunt of Faith, Joy, Kevin, Natalie, Mark, Jibril, Alvin, Sasha, Frank, David and Flavian.

Formerly of CITAM Schools Woodley and CITAM Schools Buruburu.

Prayer meetings are being held daily at CITAM Valley Road Minor Hall 2 from 5.30pm.

The fund raising will be on Tuesday 1st May 2018 at CITAM Valley Road Minor Hai, from 3.00pm.

The cortege leaves Montezuma Funeral home for a Funeral Service at CITAM Valle, Road on Thursday 3rd May 2018 at 9: 00am.

She will be laid to rest on Saturday 5th May 2018 at her home in Lumakanda, Lugari, District.

Margaret Wangari Wanjau

16/10/1945 — 30/04/2017

It has been exactly one year since that sad day you departed from us. Though you are physically not here, we feel your presence every single day that passes.

We have kept you alive in our hearts, thoughts, conversations and actions. You were our pillar of strength and our inspiration. You were the axis upon which our lives revolved and the gap you left can never be filled. All we can do is to thank God for the blessing of the wonderful years we had with you. We miss you terribly.

Forever cherished by your loving husband, Ephantus; children, Susan and Labeja, Carol, Mutiga; grandchildren, Opidi and Wangari; sister, Zelipah; extended family and friends.

“For those who follow Godly paths will rest in peace when they die.” (Isaiah 57:2 {NLT})