, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 26 – Members of the National Assembly observed a minute’s silence as they took time to eulogise former Malava MP and Cabinet Minister Soita Shitanda as a patriotic and committed leader who was always loyal to the government and his country.
House Speaker Justin Muturi said it was because of his commitment to service that Shitanda was elected an MP in 1997 and 2002 to represent residents of Malava Constituency.
“Before his appointment to the Cabinet, he was a good debater and an astute member of various House committees. The late Honourable Shitanda will be remembered for instituting various strategic reforms regarding housing for civil servants while at the helm of the Ministry of Housing,” remarked the Speaker in his Communication to the House.
“He introduced a housing scheme for civil servants, and also streamline and reorganised the Housing Finance Corporation to enable it undertake more housing projects with a view to bridging the housing deficit for the civil servants. He also foresaw the implementation of the Kenya Housing Policy and the Kenya Slum Upgrading Programme in various parts of the country.”
The House was informed that the Shitanda will be buried on June 4.
It was also resolved that House Leaders from both sides of the divide should write to the Speaker instructing him to deduct Sh5,000 from each of the 349 legislators to help offset Shitanda’s hospital bill which had accumulated to Sh4 million.
Leader of Majority Aden Duale and Jubilee Coalition Deputy Whip Benjamin Washiali said the same commitment earned him a ministerial appointment in the National Alliance Rainbow Coalition (NARC) and the Grand Coalition Government.
MPs Eseli Simiyu (Tongeren) and Amina Abdulla (Nominated) described the late former minister as hardworking and dedicated and as one who never shied away from stating what was on his mind and always spoke without fear.
“Honourable Shitanda was the ‘sugar guy’, in fact the last time I saw him when he was unwell, I said you fought the sugar war so much until you got diabetes,” Abdallah said.
“Shitanda goes down in history as one of the MPs who had put the welfare of his constituents ahead of his own welfare,” noted Eseli.
Malava MP Malulu Injendi and his Matungu counterpart David Were said the late Shitanda was a soft spoken leader who represented his people diligently and with a lot of dedication.
“We will live to remember him particularly for the sugar industry, we will live to remember him for bringing the people of Malava a district headquarters we call Kakamega North; we will live to remember him for bringing us a district hospital… we will live to remember him for what he did for the poor people of Malava,” said the Malava MP.
“Shitanda was a very good politician and also a fierce fighter for the sugar industry. I remembered he really fought very hard for the establishment of Butali Sugar so that farmers of area would not be exploited,” Were who was a close friend of Shitanda recollected.