NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 22- Barely six months after the death of one-time Environment Minister John Michuki, the family has suffered yet another loss with the demise of his widow Josephine Watiri.
Watiri died on Wednesday morning at the Nairobi Hospital where she had been undergoing treatment for cancer.
While addressing journalists at the Lee Funeral Home where her body has been transferred, her son Francis Michuki said she passed on at about 7am after battling the disease for the last three years.
“Josephine Watiri Michuki passed away this morning at about 7 o’clock and as you can imagine it is a tragic loss for the family. You know mzee (the late Michuki) passed away six months ago so we thank God for her life,” he said.
Close family members had earlier told Capital FM News that Watiri had been in and out of the Nairobi Hospital for the past one month.
“She has been here for about a month. She was first admitted for about one week before being discharged and then she was readmitted,” said one family member who requested anonymity.
Another family member told Capital FM News that Watiri could be buried next week. Family members will be meeting at the family’s home in Ridgeways as well as the Windsor Hotel in Kiambu.
The family said they would keep the public updated on funeral arrangements.
“We will be making announcements as the days pass. Let’s not speculate too much; those other issues are not important,” he said.
Former Cabinet Minister and one-time Mukuruweini MP Mutahi Kagwe had earlier in the day confirmed the death with a posting on his Facebook profile.
“Very very painful, our mother-in law Mrs Josephine Michuki died early today at Nairobi hospital. Good people we desperately need your prayers,” he said in the post.
President Mwai Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta sent condolences to the family.
President Kibaki described the late Watiri as a loving mother and grandmother, who’s passing on leaves a huge vacuum that is hard to fill.
“It is with a deep sense of loss and sorry that I send my heartfelt condolences to the family, relatives and friends of the late Mama Josephine Michuki,” the president said.
Assuring the bereaved family of his support, the Head of State said while words are not sufficient consolation his thoughts and prayers are with them.
Through a statement sent to newsrooms, Odinga described the death as “a double blow to the family of the late honourable Michuki.”
“She was a strong and courageous woman who had shown she was capable of stepping into her late husband’s shoes and provide guidance to our people on development and political issues,” he said.
Michuki passed on in February at the Aga Khan University Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
The Michuki’s have left behind six children.