NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 13- “I am going to miss walking with a friend who truly cared for me, not only as the President but as a friend and a fellow human being” – were the words of President Uhuru Kenyatta during the memorial service of the late Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery.
Other than losing a great leader, President Kenyatta told mourners at the Nairobi Baptist Church that he had lost a personal friend whom he met when he was young.
As fate would have it that Keyatta become the President and the man he met when he was young, his internal security chief.
In fact, the President revealed that retired President Daniel arap Moi had implored him to work with Nkaissery in future at the time he nominated him his successor.
“Nkaissery was a loyal man, totally dedicated to the country,” President Kenyatta said.
To honour the legacy of the later Interior CS, the President and his Deputy William Ruto asked Kenyans to observe peace during and after the forthcoming elections.
President Kenyatta said Kenyans should be patriotic just like the befallen security strongman.
“When I asked Nkaissery to join my government, he did not hesitate,” he said. ” The clean-up he did and re-organisation is something I will never forget.”
The President said although the General was a stickler for discipline and a man of order, he also had a very soft spot for those that he cared for.
“I am going to miss a friend, I am going to miss a colleague. I am going to miss walking with a man of passion. I am going to miss walking with a friend who truly cared for me, not just as President, he cared for me as a friend and a fellow human being,” he said.
The Deputy President on his part said, “The late Major General Nkaissery was a man of honour and dignity. He will be missed.”
He added: “We owe it to Kenyans to hold a peaceful election. It will be a fitting tribute to Major General Nkaissery.”
Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho also eulogized his late boss, whom he admitted fearing at the initial stages when he joined the ministry.
“For the last one and a half years, I have found in you a loving father, a jovial friend, a strict disciplinarian, a stickler to process and procedure and above all, and unknown to many, an extremely humorous boss,” he stated.
“Together we have built a most cohesive team of leadership in the Ministry. A team that has seen this country enjoy good security with better motivated and well-kitted security players.”
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi said Nkaissery was a great Kenyan who never let the country down in any national assignment he was tasked with.
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala who spoke on behalf of his colleagues said the late Nkaissery would be remembered for generations to come as a firm, courageous, decisive and yet humorous and fair to all.
“He taught us that leadership is not to load over people but to get the best out of all people,” said CS Balala.
Other speakers included Chief of Defense Forces General Samson Mwathethe, Acting Internal and Co-ordination of National Government CS Fred Matiangi and Joshua Polong who spoke on behalf of the family among others.
The requiem mass was also attended by senior government officials led by Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, MPs, diplomats, and the general public.