Reuben Chesire dies at 75

November 15, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI November 15- Kenya Dairy Board Chairman Reuben Chesire is dead. Mr Chesire passed on Saturday morning at the Nairobi Hospital after being taken ill on Thursday evening.

The late Chesire served in different capacities under the retired President Daniel Moi’s regime, and was at one time an Assistant Minister for Internal Security.

A family member told Capital News at his Kitusuru home that the former Eldoret North MP was rushed to hospital on Thursday after he complained of chest pains, but succumbed at 11 am on Saturday.

The reputed dairy farmer was aged 75 and leaves behind four widows and 12 children.

He was ousted from his Eldoret North seat by Cabinet Minister William Ruto in 1997.

The one-time influential politician in Rift Valley was a brother to former Maendeleo ya Wanawake Chairperson and politician Zipporah Kittony.

Prime Minister (PM) Raila Odinga sent a message of condolence saying death had robbed the country and the North Rift of a great leader in business and politics.

“In Chesire’s death, the country has lost a historical figure, that had sound knowledge of Kenya through experience gathered via service in various political regimes,” said Mr Odinga.

The PM said the late Chesire understood the ups and downs of Kenyan politics because he went through them a powerful broker and also as a victim of palace politic.

“We remember him as a prominent farmer and as one of those who made Rift Valley politics lively and competitive,” he said.

“In 2002 when Rift valley was solidly KANU, he joined us in Narc.In 2007 when the region was solidly Orange, he chose the Party of National Unity (PNU) .We pray for strength for the family and friends,” added the PM.

Rumble at State House

Until his death, the former MP had been engaged in a long acrimonious relationship with his successor William Ruto who was believed to have been favored by retired President Moi.

Their differences reached fever pitch in 2002 when he accused Mr Ruto of assaulting him outside State House office in Nairobi.

Mr Ruto however denied having ‘hit’ the Minister but admitted to have had a “heated argument|” with him (Chesire).

The incident, which later became the famous “Rumble at State House”, occurred when the late Chesire was waiting to see Mr Moi.

It was hinted that the bad blood between him and his successor brew from the time the so-called Young Turks (among Whom Ruto was a key member)were said to have ‘had the ear’ of the then powerful Head of State.

Mr Chesire and Moi were reportedly childhood friends, Moi having stayed at the former’s home when he was attending school in the 1940’s.


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