Kitui West MP Francis Nyenze. Photo/File
Seth Onyango @SethManex and Charles Muasya @PeopleDailyKe
Leaders were yesterday united in mourning the death of Kitui West MP and former Minority Leader Francis Nyenze who passed on while receiving treatment at Nairobi Hospital. President Uhuru Kenyatta, opposition leader Raila Odinga and former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka led the country in mourning the departed politician.
Nyenze was last seen in public during the swearing-in of MPs in the National Assembly in August, where he appeared wearing an oxygen mask.
Family members of the late KituiWest legislator, who also served as a Cabinet Minister under President Moi’s administration, said he had been battling colon cancer for a decade.
During the recent 12th Parliament swearing-in ceremony, Nyenze attended with an oxygen tank in tow and tubes snaking up his back.
Although the legislator looked frail and was limping, he put on a brave face and greeted journalists casually joking “mimi pia nimefika (I have also made here).”
As his widow Edith narrates, Nyenze’s fighting spirit, even in his lowest moment, was admirable. “From that time, he has really fought a good fight.
He has been treated in India, also gone to Dubai and the United Kingdom until when the doctors said his lungs had failed. Until yesterday, he was talking and supported himself as he walked around,” she said. Edith remembered her late husband as a strong pillar in his life.
“He is the best thing that God has ever given me. He was a very loving husband. A politician but faithful to the family, faithful to his wife, a Christian and he served people well,” she said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta eulogised Nyenze as a legislator who served his constituents with commitment and dedication. The Head of State said the late MP always championed national interests and would never allow narrow and selfish interests to jeopardise the unity of Kenyans.
“I have known the late Nyenze since the time he was a Cabinet Minister under President Moi’s administration. He was always keen on preserving our unity and nationhood.
I urge all of us to emulate his leadership style,” he said. The late MP served the Leader of Minority in the 11th Parliament and was re-elected on a Wiper Democratic Party ticket in August 8 General Election.
The President said it was because of his commitment to servant leadership that residents of Kitui West re-elected him. Kalonzo said as a Leader of Minority in the 11th Parliament, he served the country with great commitment and dedication.
“His non-confrontational, gentlemanly mien was a great asset in helping to build bridges among political protagonists,” he said in a statement from Germany.
It will be remembered that the Wiper leader defended the late Nyenze even when the MP supported Uhuru. Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu said Nyenze distinguished himself as a selfless leader who served the people of Kitui West with dedication and was thrice elected to serve them in 1997, 2013 and 2017.
Makueni Governor Prof Kivutha Kibwana said he was a reconciliatory person in ensuring people build consensus. And at his Kiondoni villagers in Kitui West sub-county, grief and sorrow engulfed the villagers as they mourned him.
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