Kitui West Member of Parliament Francis Nyenze is dead.
Nyenze, who is former National Assembly Minority Leader died at The Nairobi Hospital.
Family and close friends say he was suffering from colon cancer. Nyenze is said to have also developed pneumonia that resulted in breathing issues.
The body has since been moved to Lee Funeral Home in Nairobi.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has mourned Nyenze, eulogizing him as a legislator who served his constituents with commitment and dedication.
President Kenyatta said the late MP always championed national interests and would never allowed narrow selfish interests jeopardize 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,” said President Kenyatta.
The President said it was because of his commitment to servant leadership that the Kitui West residents re-elected him to serve them for another term of five years in the 12th Parliament.
He prayed to God to give comfort and fortitude to the family and all residents of Kitui West
Nyenze was born on 2nd June 1957 in Kabati, Kitui West.
Signs of his failing health came to the fore when he was sworn in to the 13th Parliament with an oxygen tank strapped on his body.
In 2001 he was the Minister for Heritage and Sports having had served as the Minister for environment in 1997 when he was elected as the MP for Kitui West.
Meanwhile, Members of the National Assembly and their colleagues in the Senate have described former Kitui West MP Francis Nyenze as a great, unique, determined man who also acted as a peacemaker.
While paying tribute to the late Nyenze the legislators said death has robbed Kitui West and the nation as a whole of a humble leader who always avoided conflict. They said that despite suffering poor health Kitui West residents still had confidence in his leadership re-elect him in August.
Nyenze who served as the first Minority Leader under the 2010 constitution becomes is the first Member of Parliament to pass away while in office following the highly charged August general elections.
Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetang’ula on behalf of the NASA principals hailed the former Kitui West MP for serving with distinction for four terms until his demise.
Minority Leader in the National Assembly John Mbadi acknowledged the role played by Nyenze in strengthening the National Supper Alliance ahead of the general election apart from having an independent mind on issues of national concern.
On his part Kajiado South MP Katoo Ole Metito said that Nyenze was well versed with parliamentary rules and procedures’