, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 25 – Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has eulogised former Defence Minister Njenga Karume describing him as down to earth leader who never lost touch with the people despite his many achievements in business and politics.
Kalonzo who spoke after visiting Karume’s home in Kiambu, described the late veteran politician as a hardworking person who despite coming from a humble background worked hard to become a successful entrepreneur and a politician.
The VP added that despite all the achievements he had made in life, Karume remained humble and in touch with the common man.
“He is the embodiment of the spirit of Kenya, he rose from very humble beginnings to become a premier entrepreneur and an outstanding leader, you can imagine rising from a charcoal burner to a defence minister,” Kalonzo said.
The VP lamented that the country had lost two prominent leaders within a week and urged Kenyans to pray for God’s fortitude during this difficult time.
“It is tragic that the demise of Karume has occurred just when, as a country, we were trying to come to terms with that of John Michuki a few days ago. This is a tremendous loss for the country and all we can do is to pray for God’s strength to bear the loss,” added the VP.
Cabinet Ministers, Amos Kimunya and Chirau Mwakwere who accompanied the VP also paid tribute to the former cabinet colleague terming him as man who exhibited patriotism to the country in his workings as well as wisdom in his actions.
“For me it is a compounded loss, I feel like I have lost not only a friend but part of me but I do hope that the loss inspires us to do more for our country and people who look towards us leaders for guidance,” said Kimunya adding that Karume and his father suffered detention in 1954.
“We shall all miss him but in his memory let us exhibit the same level of the patriotism and wisdom that he exhibited,” said the Trade Minister who described the late as a true patriot.
Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa, later on Friday evening led a delegation of over 20 legislators to Karume’s home to console the family.
Wamalwa said that death had robbed Kenya of a role model not only in politics but also in business.
“It is a tragedy to lose two eminent sons of our country in three days all we can do in his honor is to do the things he asked us to do , keep the country united and keep peace even with the anticipated elections,” said Wamalwa.
Also at the late Karume’s home were former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta and political activist Mary Wambui.
Wambui said that Karume’s death had robbed her friend she had known ever since the formation of the Democratic Party.
She described Karume as a hard working person and one who showed commitment in all his duties.
Earlier on Karume’s widow Grace fainted as she was being consoled; relatives said that she was still in shock following the loss of her husband. She was later taken away to view his body.
Napoleon Kamau who has been Karume’s personal bodyguard for the past 14 years was lost for words to explain the pain of loss for the man he knew since the Kenyatta presidency.
Kamau said: “It is hard to explain his nature; but he is like an all weather man, for all the time I have known him he has been very generous especially paying school fees for needy students.”
Kamau who spent all day at Karume’s residence said that he was privileged to tour the world courtesy of the late minister who was just as close to him as a friend, father and brother.
Other leaders who arrived to console the family included Provincial commissioners Kiplimo Rugut and James Waweru, former MPs George Thuo, Maina Kamanda and Patrick Muiruri.