The Environment Minister died shortly after 9pm at the Aga Khan University Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit on Tuesday night after a long illness.
The minister had gone for treatment in the United Kingdom after suffering a mild stroke according to close family sources, but was taken ill again two days ago after returning from Britain.
The source said the minister was rushed to the Aga Khan University Hospital with breathing problems and his doctors ascertained that his lungs were filled with water and that his blood sugar was abnormal.
President Mwai Kibaki who was leaving for London as the news broke immediately sent his condolences.
“It is with deep regret that I announce the death of the Hon John Michuki a dear friend, colleague and patriot. The Hon Michuki passed on this evening at the Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi,” a brief statement the president said.
He added: “The Hon Michuki shall be remembered as a focused public servant, determined businessman and issue oriented politician.”
He concluded by saying: “May God give his family and constituents the strength and fortitude to bear the loss.”
Head of the Public Service Francis Kimemia was among senior government officials who joined the family at the Lee Funeral Home on Tuesday night where they converged to receive the former Minister’s body. “It is a tragic loss to the family and the government. All we can say really at the moment is sorry to the family,” Kimemia said.
Among those who immediately went to the Aga Khan University Hospital were Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta who could be seen making calls outside the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
“We are mourning with the family,” Uhuru said.
On Monday, social media networks were abuzz with speculation about Michuki’s health prompting the government to issue a statement clarifying that he was admitted to the Aga Khan University Hospital for treatment after a lapse, following his return from the United Kingdom.