Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji has passed on aged 80 years after a long illness.
Haji, who most recently co-chaired the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Taskforce has been sick for a while and was flown to Turkey for treatment late last year but returned to the country recently.
He died Sunday night while receiving treatment at the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi County.
According to Haji´s family, his body will leave his home at 3pm and head to South C Mosque for prayers after which the burial will be held at Langata Muslim Cemetery at 4pm.
Haji was born on December 23, 1940 in Garissa District in the North Eastern Province to an ethnic Somali family.
After post-secondary education, Haji earned a diploma from the University of Birmingham, where he majored in Management and Finance Control.
Haji began his professional career in administration and management. He joined the Provincial Administration of Kenya as a District Officer in 1960, and went on to serve as Provincial Commissioner between 1970 and 1997.
In 1998, Haji was nominated as a member of the Kenyan Parliament and was later elected an official Member of Parliament on a Kenya African National Union (KANU) ticket.
From 1998 to 2001, Haji worked as an Assistant Minister in the Office of the President. He subsequently acted as the Office’s Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs in 2002.
On a KANU ticket, Haji was elected to represent the Ijara Constituency at the 2007 parliamentary elections.
On 8 January 2008, Haji was appointed Kenya’s Minister of State for Defence after the 27 December 2007 general elections.
Mzee Haji was instrumental in the war against terrorism, he led a Kenyan delegation to meet with Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG) officials in Mogadishu on 18 October 2011 to discuss security issues cooperation against the Islamist Al-Shabaab group as part of the coordinated Operation Linda Nchi.
Haji and Somalia’s Minister of Defence Hussein Arab Isse then signed an agreement to collaborate against the insurgent group.
In early June 2012, Haji signed another agreement officially re-hatting Kenya’s deployed military forces in Somalia under the AMISOM general command.
Haji’s term as Minister of Defence ended on 26 April 2013.
On 18 June 2012, he was appointed Kenya’s acting Minister of Internal Security and Provincial Affairs after the incumbent minister George Saitoti died in a helicopter crash a few days earlier.
He held the new position concurrently with the Minister of Defence docket until a permanent Internal Minister was appointed on 21 September 2012.