• Ruto said the government will “stand and walk with the family of Mzee Kadenge during this difficult time”.
Deputy President William Ruto has condoled Joe Kadenge as a "great sportsman and respected footballer".
Ruto said Mzee Kadenge contributed greatly to the development of football in Kenya.
"It is a great feat that one person can make such a big contribution to the game. Kadenge became synonymous with football in Kenya and we owe him a lot,” said the Deputy President in his condolence message when he visited the family home in Nairobi on Monday.
Ruto said the government will “stand and walk with the family of Mzee Kadenge during this difficult time”.
In his memory, Ruto challenged his former club chairman Dan Shikanda to elevate AFC Leopards beyond its western Kenya influence.
“I am sure that is what Kadenge would have loved,” he said.
“He was not only a great sportsman, football legend, but also brought up a family of sportsmen and mentored many.”
Shikanda said there was a minute silence during Sunday’s game between Algeria vs Benin in honour of Mzee Kadenge’s memory.
“It was a touching moment for the family. Joe Kadenge and Jonathan Niva put Kenyan football on the word map,” he said.
The family spokesman, Chris Mmbwanga, thanked the Government for making available a special NHIF card that the family used to cover Kadenge’s medical expenses.
“The card was able to offset his bills,” he said.
His widow, Mary Kadenge, thanked Dr Ruto and government officials, including Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed for taking time to visit and pray with the family.
Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka and Starehe MP Charles Njagua said Mzee Kadenge inspired a generation of youth through his exploits on the field.
Other leaders present were Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot, Lang’ata MP Nixon Korir and Ikolomani MP Bernard Shinali.
Mzee Kadenge, 84, passed on last Saturday.