NAIROBI, Kenya, May 4 – A Kenyan legislator allied to the Orange Democratic Movement has died in Nairobi.
The Shinyalu Member of Parliament Charles Lugano Lilechi, 59, who had been admitted to the Nairobi Hospital, passed away at about 2 am on Monday.
His younger brother Brown Muhati told Capital News that the MP had been ailing for close to two months before he died.
“He was sick but his condition deteriorated in February when we took him to hospital. We received the sad news this morning,” Mr Muhati said.
“We had taken him to several other hospitals but the situation kept deteriorating because he always complained of throat pains and fatigue,” he added.
He leaves behind two widows Zuhura Sakwa and Alice Wamoyo with eleven children.
“He had eight sons and three daughters,” Mr Muhati told a Capital News crew that visited the late MP’s Nairobi residence at the leafy Runda estate.
His widow Zuhura was overcome by emotions and could not talk to journalists.
In his message of condolence, President Mwai Kibaki described the late legislator as a man of remarkable integrity, vision and restraint who served the country with diligence commitment and dedication.
“It is saddening that the late Lugano has passed on shortly after making a successful debut into elective politics, hence cutting short a promising political career,” a statement from the Presidential Press Service said.
He said the late Lugano earned himself the reputation of the defender of the less fortunate and promoter of social justice who initiated a HIV/AIDs awareness programme and several development projects in his Shinyalu constituency.
“The late Lugano served this country with distinction in various capacities. He distinguished himself not only as a man of outstanding political acumen but also a self driven businessman,” said President Kibaki.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga described the late MP as a ‘dedicated leader who was involved in various developmental projects.’
“It is a big blow to the ODM party, which has lost one of their own at a time when we are struggling for reforms to transform this country,” he said in a statement.
And he added: “The country has lost an intellectual and a dedicated individual who believed in change for development and worked very hard to realize success in all he undertook.
The late Lugano will be remembered for his involvement in promoting music talents and musicians from his constituency.
The late MP clinched the Shinyalu seat on an ODM ticket in 2007 but could not complete the five-year term in Parliament, occasioning yet another ground for a by-election.
The country is faced with a challenge following the disbandment of the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) which was accused of bungling the 2007 general elections with numerous malpractices including poor management of the electoral register.
After months of vetting for a new elections body chief, the Parliamentary select committee settled on Isaack Hassan whose name has already been approved by Parliament. He is now awaiting Presidential appointment.