, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 9 – Condolences have started streaming in following the death of Youth Affairs Permanent Secretary Kinuthia Murugu, who succumbed to gunshot wounds in hospital early on Thursday morning.
President Mwai Kibaki said he was deeply shocked and saddened by the death of Mr Murugu, whom he described as an articulate and consummate public servant who was deeply committed to the youth agenda.
“The late Kinuthia Murugu tirelessly helped to pursue an agenda dear to my heart, that of youth development. His absence will especially be greatly felt by the young people in the country who had found in him a true friend and a mentor,” the Head of State said.
The President was among those who spent the day with Mr Murugu during a function at State House, hours before he was shot.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga on the other hand described Mr Murugu as one of the best Permanent Secretaries that the government had, and who had ‘just tabled a very elaborate Strategic Plan for the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs’.
The late Mr Murugu is credited with the launch of the National Youth Enterprise Fund and the Kazi Kwa Vijana programme – youth initiatives aimed at creating employment for young Kenyans and by so doing steering them away from crime.
“Criminals have robbed the country and, particularly the youth, of a friend and a servant who should have lived to serve them,” said the PM.
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka on his part said he learnt of the PS’s death with disbelief.
He described the late Mr Murugu as a brilliant and visionary administrator who was at the heart of implementation of Kenya’s Vision 2030.
“Mr Kinuthia had performed exemplarily well as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs and lately the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The country has lost a dedicated Public Servant,” he said.
The VP termed it regrettable that the Permanent Secretary had died following a carjacking incident and promised that the government would not relent in its efforts to clamp on crime in the country.
Mr Murugu was shot at by gangsters as he tried to reverse his car to evade a trap they had set on Muringa Road in the Kilimani area of Nairobi on June 19.
He was admitted to the Nairobi Hospital and placed in the Intensive Care Unit after an operation to remove a bullet that was lodged in his chest. He passed on at 3.35am on Thursday.
Several Kenyans have appealed to the government to crack down on crime following the incident. Expressing their opinions on the Capital News website, they passed their condolences to the PS’ friends and family.
Nephat Mbau called it a sad moment for Kenyans and especially the youth for losing a promising leader and urged the government to improve security.
“My condolences to his family, relatives and friends,” read Franklin’s comment.
Maundu Maloba on his part said that the Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti should act immediately to curb the soaring crime rate.
Michael Kinuthia on the other hand described the death as regrettable and called for urgent steps to tackle crime. He suggested immediate changes at the Ministry of Internal Security to ensure the person in charge was able to restore much-needed security across the country.