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Bunyenyezi, man who paid Raila's air ticket to exile in Norway dies aged 76

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Bunyenyezi, Man Who Paid Raila's Air Ticket To Exile In Norway Dies Aged 76
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Bunyenyezi, man who paid Raila's air ticket to exile in Norway dies aged 76 by Kenyans247(1): Fri 25, December, 2020 12:54pm
Bunyenyezi is survived with his wife of 40 years Chantal and three children Gad, Keza and Nshuti
In Summary
• He is also the co-founder of Kiss FM, the pioneer outlet in Radio Africa Group, and became the founder chairman of the group.

• Raila's daughter Winnie Odinga told mourners during a mass service for Bunyenyezi that an intelligence officer from US embassy had told her father that the Moi government at the time was after him and "this time they would not spare you."When ODM leader Raila Odinga was fleeing the country from detention in 1991 to seek asylum in Norway, an anonymous Good Samaritan in Uganda would pay his air ticket.

He only came to know him later in life to be Ezra Bunyenyezi.

The business magnate died on December 18 at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi aged 76.


Details from the family indicate that the businessman was suffering from carcinoid syndrome, a condition which was diagnosed in 2016.

"In October this year, his illness intensified and on the afternoon of December 18, he passed away in his sleep at the Aga Khan hospital in Nairobi. His wife and children were at his bedside," the tribute said.

Raila's daughter Winnie Odinga told mourners during a mass service for Bunyenyezi on Wednesday that an intelligence officer from US embassy had told her father that the Moi government at the time was after him and "this time they would not spare you."

Business magnate Ezra Bunyenyezi died on December 18 at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi aged 76.
Business magnate Ezra Bunyenyezi died on December 18 at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi aged 76.
Image: FREDRICK OMONDI
So he disguised himself in a perilous boat ride through Lake Victoria to Uganda.

At the UNHCR offices, she said, Raila was told to find means of leaving for Norway as the UN agency did not have funds to buy him a ticket.

The police from Kenya had also learnt that he had fled to the neighbouring nation and it was a matter of time before they came for him. So it was urgent.

At the time, Bunyenyezi was owning a Ugandan travel bureau.

"So my father went to the bureau and requested that he books a ticket and then organize with him family in Bondo to send the money," she said to a still quiet audience.

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But an attendant at the bureau went to the back office and came back with a fully paid ticket.

"My father said 'no I don't have the money yet. I'm just booking' but the attendant said she had been instructed to give a person with such names the ticket," she said.

"Ezra never told my father that he did this to him even though they later became close friends for many years. He only learnt of it through another person," she added, thanking Bunyenyezi's family for saving her father's life.

Bunyenyezi was eulogized as a genius businessman who had a gut feeling of what business would succeed, and they all succeeded.

Besides the Uganda travel bureau, he also established the Rwanda travel bureau and Capital FM in Uganda.

He is also the co-founder of Kiss FM, the pioneer outlet in Radio Africa group.

He became the founder chairman of the group.

Bunyenyezi is survived with his wife of 40 years Chantal and three children Gad, Keza and Nshuti.

Kisumu governor Anyang' Nyong'o said he first met Bunyenyezi when he was studying in Makerere university and their friendship over decades have only grown stronger.

Politician Peter Kenneth said the prolific businessman was widely knowledgeable, social and friendly.

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Bunyenyezi, Man Who Paid Raila's Air Ticket To Exile In Norway Dies Aged 76

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