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Former ECK boss Samuel Kivuitu dies in Nairobi

SAMUEL-KIVUITUNAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 26 – The former chairman of the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) Samuel Kivuitu passed away on Monday night after a long battle with cancer.

Kivuitu died at the MP Shah hospital where he had gone for an X-ray check-up following chest pains.

Speaking to reporters at the hospital on Tuesday morning, his younger brother John Musyoka pointed out that Kivuitu collapsed soon after the X-ray was done.

“He has been recovering and relapsing. Yesterday (Monday) he was brought to have a chest X-ray done after complaining of chest pains. As he was being taken out he collapsed and was admitted to the ICU unit of this hospital and he passed away at approximately 10.30 in the evening,” he said.

Musyoka who spoke on behalf of the family said that Kivuitu had been battling throat cancer that has seen him in an out of hospital for the last two years.

“The honourable Kivuitu was diagnosed with cancer of the throat. He was taken to the AIG Institute, and treated. He came back towards the end of 2011 and he has been in Kenya attending a hospital and recovering. He briefly went to Britain last year for a conference and also underwent a small operation to fit what they call a tent to ease his swallowing,” he explained.

The body of the 74-year-old Kivuitu was taken to the Lee Funeral home and his family expects will be buried after next week’s polls.

“We are all aware of the momentous events that this country is gearing up for namely the general election that will be done on Monday. Therefore the funeral will not be this Saturday as is customary and the press will be notified of the due dates,” Musyoka said.

“In the meantime, we humbly plead that the family be given time to grieve in their privacy and that we respect the passing on of this great man.”

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Kivuitu was appointed the ECK boss by former President Daniel arap Moi to replace Zacchaeus Chesoni who had overseen the 1992 General Election.

Kivuitu served as elections boss in 1997, 2002 and also oversaw the constitution referendum in 2005. He was reappointed to the helm of the body by President Mwai Kibaki ahead of the 2007 polls.

Kivuitu was educated in Uganda from 1959 to 1961 and Tanzania from 1961 and 1965.

He was elected MP for Parklands in 1969 and served until 1974.

In the meantime, top leaders among them Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Uhuru Kenyatta and PM Raila Odinga have mourned the death of the former ECK boss.

The vice-president described the late Kivuitu as an astute politician, keen parliamentarian, and a renowned lawyer and friend.

Musyoka described him as humble, stoic, philanthropic and a social person who always strived to give his best to humanity and in particular to his country.

The VP urged the family to look upon the Almighty God during this difficult time of loss and mourning.

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