Leaders describe Kisii kingpin as icon of progress
George Kebaso @Morarak
President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President (DP) William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga yesterday led other Kenyans in eulogising the former Cabinet Minister Simeon Nyachae who passed on yesterday at the Nairobi Hospital.
Uhuru described the former Finance minister as an icon of Kenya’s progress through the years.
In a message of condolence to the family of the independence era provincial administrator, the President said the late Nyachae’s successful transition from public service to the world of business and politics was a demonstration that focus and hard work pays.
“Death has robbed Kenya of a wise statesman, whose long service to the nation helped shape the country’s standing as one of Africa’s most progressive economies.
“I am deeply saddened by the passing on of Mzee Nyachae, a distinguished son of Kenya, a friend and a man whose contribution to the making of the Kenyan nation will remain with us for eternity,” the President said in a statement to newsrooms.
“Throughout his many years of service to the nation, right from his time in the provincial administration through to his transition into business and politics, Mzee Nyachae exhibited exemplary zeal to succeed and as he exits from this world, he leaves behind a rich legacy of success.”
The Head of State recalled his interactions with Nyachae over the years saying the former Nyaribari Chache MP was a jolly, accessible and dependable elder whose wise counsel and friendship he will miss.
On his part, Ruto said Nyachae was a progressive, selfless and steadfast leader who was genuinely passionate about public service, politics and uniting people in a common cause.
“A gifted administrator, entrepreneur and politician of large intellect, Mzee Nyachae was vocal and a tenacious debater whose domination in our country’s political stage will be dearly remembered.
“He was a passionate, indefatigable and forthright operator whose affable disposition and wit earned him friends and foes alike,” Ruto said in a statement also describing the former Cabinet minister as a philanthropist, who took pleasure in helping the needy in society.
ODM leader, Raila Odinga said in a tweet that the Abagusii community has lost one of its most illustrious sons.
“My heartfelt and sincere condolences go out to the family of former Cabinet Minister, MP, and long-serving career civil servant Simeon Nyachae. May he rest in peace,” he wrote.
Retired President Mwai Kibaki also mourned the late Nyachae, describing him as a consummate taskmaster whose oversight led to the timely conception, implementation and completion of key projects and tasks.
“I have received the news of the passing on of Simeon Nyachae, no doubt one of Kenya’s most illustrious public servants with sadness.
I pray that the late Nyachae’s family and friends find the Almighty God’s inestimable peace and comfort during this trying moment,” said Kibaki who appointed Nyachae to the Energy and Roads and Public Works dockets.
Kibaki also described Nyachae as a sure-footed bureaucrat who served three presidencies with distinction.
“He is remembered best as an astute administrator. Nyachae’s adeptness as an entrepreneur was as remarkable as his fortitude. In his entire public life, he spared nothing to achieve the finest,” he said.
Nyamira Governor Amos Nyaribo, on his part said the country had lost a great man who never wasted time in decision making.
“Nyachae made a mark in this great nation in administration, politics and governance. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” he said in a short statement.
And Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka said the late Nyachae was a firm administrator, a charismatic leader and consummate politician; who was an inspiration to many people.
“I consider it a privilege to have served as a District Officer in Keumbu, the home Division of Mr Nyachae (from early 1989 to 1992), when he was a respected Abagusii political kingpin in the region, at the time,” he added.
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya termed Nyachae as an astute leader who served with diligence and dedication.
“He was a development-oriented leader who empowered his people through various development projects and programmes.
The country has lost a great son and leader who spent most of his life serving his people,” he tweeted.
Kanu chairman and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi described Nyachae as a politician of repute.
“His strict sense of discipline and hard work saw him rise from a District Officer to Chief Secretary in the civil service.
He was an astute businessman whose footprints are found in almost all sectors of the economy,” said Senator Moi.
Meanwhile, the gates to Nyachae’s Kisii home remained closed and locals were busy with their businesses for the better part of the day.
Tabaka MCA Apepo Ombasa described Nyachae’s death as a great loss to Gusii community and the country.
Ombasa said Nyachae served the country with devotion in various positions and will be greatly remembered for his contribution locally and nationally.
“I want to send my sincere condolences to the larger Nyachae family.
The country has sincerely lost a great leader,” Ombasa said adding that Nyachae was a unifying factor in Gusii politics. —Additional reporting by Robert Ochoro