TRAGEDY

Dark month for Parliament as three lawmakers die

Legislators Haji, Oyioka and Munyua die in just six days

In Summary

• The death came soon after Parliament lost a member in November and two in December last year.

• Other prominent personalities Simeon Nyachae and Hosea Kiplagat have died this month. 

Members of parliament and senate at the parliament gallery during the opening of the 11th parliament.
Members of parliament and senate at the parliament gallery during the opening of the 11th parliament.
Image: FILE

February has become a dark month for Parliament following the death of three legislators in six days.

Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji, John Oroo Oyioka (Bonchari MP) and Francis Munyua Waititu (Juja MP) died soon after Parliament lost a member in November and two in December last year.

Haji and Oyioka died on February 15. The Garissa Senator died in the morning while the Bonchari MP later in the evening. On Monday evening, Munyua died at MP Shah Hospital in Nairobi.

Other prominent personalities have died during this month. 

Former Cabinet Minister and ex-Nyaribari Chache MP Simeon Nyachae died on February 1. The businessman, politician, former chief secretary and ex-head of Civil Service died at the Nairobi Hospital.

On February 6, former Co-operative Bank executive chairman and Moi-era politician Hosea Kiplagat died at his Karen home.

On Tuesday, President Uhuru Kenyatta eulogised Munyua as a trusted and committed leader who always put the interests of his constituents first.

"It is because of the trust and love that the people of Juja had for Munyua that they entrusted him with a second term in a very competitive election despite his illness," the President said.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi described the Juja MP as a progressive lawmaker whose actions were geared towards the improvement of the agricultural sector.

“It is indeed saddening that we have lost him, just a few days after we lost two other lawmakers. May the Almighty Lord grant his family fortitude and comfort them during this time of grief and beyond. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” he said.

The darkest year, perhaps, for Parliament was in 2006 when the House lost six members at a go in a plane accident in Marsabit.

The military plane crashed into a hillside in bad weather and burst into flames, killing 14 people on a peace mediation mission. Those on board the Y-12 plane were on a mission to mediate between feuding communities in the region.

The six legislators who died were Guracha Galgalo (Moyale), Bonaya Godana (North Horr), Abdi Sasura (Saku), Titus Ngoyoni (Laisamis), Abdullahi Adan (East African Legislative Assembly) and former Assistant Minister Mirugi Kariuki (Nakuru).

Following the tragedy, then-President Mwai Kibaki announced three days of national mourning.

Last year, Parliament lost Machakos Senator Boniface Kabaka on December 11 at the Nairobi Hospital, eight days after Kabuchai MP James Lusweti died at the same facility.

Matungu MP Justus Murunga died on November 14 last year, at St Mary’s Mumias, nine months after the death of Msambweni legislator Suleiman Dori on March 9 at the Aga Khan Hospital in Mombasa.

On Tuesday, leaders from across the political divide took to Twitter to express their condolences following the death of Munyua.

Former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo said: “My sincere heartfelt condolences to the family of my late friend and also my home MP Hon. Munyua “wakapee" was to see him this afternoon and I felt a bye bye coming from him. I treasure the fond memories of over 30 yrs of our friendship. Fare thee well my friend.”

Mwingi West MP Charles Nguna said: “My deepest condolences to the family, friends and the people of Juja Constituency for the loss of Hon. Francis Waititu Popularly known as Wakapee. Francis was my close friend whom we shared a Parliamentary Select Committee on implementation”

-Edited by Sarah Kanyara