Thousands of mourners gathered at Kitayi primary school in Kimilili constituency, Bungoma County on Saturday to bid farewell to Professor Barasa Wangila who succumbed to prostate cancer. The late professor was the first Vice Chancellor of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology and was hailed for having steered the pioneer Western university to greater academic heights.
MMUST acting vice Chancellor Proffesor Josephine Ngaira said his contribution to the institution left a mark. Having started with meager resources and manpower he still managed to propell it to its current status. She said he will be greatly remembered for starting courses in the institution that had a positive impact to the society such as disaster management. Her sentiments were echoed by scholars from other universities including Kibabii’s Vice Chancellor professor Odeo Ipara who applauded the late professor for his efforts to transform the society through education. Former National police service commission chairman Johnstone Kavuludi who was a classmate to the late professor in high school eulogised him as a humble man who was always willing to help. He said the society has lost a man who was always ready when called upon to help.
Archbishop Philip Anyolo who presided over the funeral mass praised the late professor, terming him as a dedicated leader who through his academic prowess created a positive impact in the society. He disclosed that he is also a beneficiary of his massive influence after being advised by the late professor after joining the priesthood and they have been in constant communication. He said he was an staunch catholic who mastered the doctrines of the church and also served in various capacities at the Kakamega cathedral as well as other places.
The widow Violet Barasa eulogised her husband as a simple man who taught her many lessons in life saying as a first born, and her as the last born in her family, he exercised a lot of patience to tame her. She said as the chair of Catholic women’s association, he was always willing to help her carry on her duties diligently including travelling abroad. Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula, Govenor Wycliffe Wangamati and Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa attended the funeral and eulogised the late professor as a great man who was dedicated to transforming the society. The late professor has left behind the widow and four children.