“How Nyachae saved my uncle from the jaws of death”
As Kenyans pay their last respects to former Cabinet Minister Simeon Nyachae ahead of his burial on Monday, Pius Abuki Bwongeri, a close relative to late University of Nairobi Lecturer, Prof. Joseph Nyasani has recalled how he saved the professor’s life.
Abuki says when Professor Nyasani was shot outside his Nairobi West home in 1994, family members panicked and Nyachae, singlehandedly, organized for an air ticket and he was flown immediately to a German hospital, which saved his life.
He said the late Minister acted promptly and ensured that Nyasani, who died on February 6, 2016 aged 79 was given the best treatment, recovered and resumed his work at the university where he taught Philosophy.
“My uncle was shot and his eye was affected. I thank Nyachae for his quick action as family members organized a funds drive to meet his medical expenses,” Abuki noted.
Speaking to People Daily on Wednesday in Kisii town, Abuki, who is Kisii Municipality Board Vice chairman, said Nyachae was supportive, the reason why he naturally became the Gusii spokesman.
He asserted Nyachae was a friend to Nyasani and the entire Bwongeri family, adding he knew him in 1979 and he supported him win Nyabururu Ward Councilor’s seat in 1988.
“I have never seen a person with a philanthropic heart like Nyachae. He helped people regardless of their tribe, clan or social distancing,” Abuki said.
Abuki said he will consult the board so that one of the roads in the Municipality is named after him to immortalize him, stressing he united the Gusii community in 2002 when he vied for presidency through Ford People party and lost to the retired president Mwai Kibaki.
He appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta, expected to grace Nyachae’s funeral to direct that Nyanturago stadium be constructed and named after Nyachae to honor him.
"Nyachae was a great man. I urge whoever will be crowned Gusii spokesman to follow his footsteps and unite the community ahead of the 2022 general election," he said.
Plans are underway for Abagusii Culture and Development Council, chaired by James Matundura to install Interior Cabinet Secretary, Dr Fred Matiang’I, as Gusii elder and spokesman.
And, former defunct Kisii Municipal Mayor, Samwel Omwando described Nyachae as a charismatic and focused leader who had the interest of the community at heart.
"Nyachae had a gift of listening. You could differ with him politically, he listens to your concerns and respects your wishes without a grudge,” Omwando said.
He appealed to whomever to be picked to replace him to embrace his leadership skills, unite the community, listen to divergent views and accommodate them.
"I met Nyachae at his Nyosia home and I convinced him that I will not support Samwel Nyangeso for the mayoral seat for personal reasons. He respected my position. Nyangeso won,” Omwando told People Daily in Kisii town.
The former mayor stressed Nyachae’s shoes are big and it will take time for the community to get a leader who is firm, principled and unwavering in his political stance.