, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 6 – Members of Parliament have been challenged to provide leadership and reconcile the country as the best tribute they can pay to Kitui West MP Francis Nyenze who passed away Wednesday after succumbing to colon cancer.
Kisumu Town West MP Olago Aluoch who was among MPs to eulogised the former Minority Leader said Nyenze had always felt that the House had abdicated its role as the people’s representative.
“Time has come for both sides of the House to find people who are firm and are fair to sit down together quickly and build bridges; bridges that could bring peace and reduce heat in the country; that was Nyenze as he was then,” he stated.
“I am sure if Nyenze was alive today he would be happy that this House is finally in the process of setting up Committees; because setting up Committees would then give us a chance from both sides of the House to interact and deal with some of the host issues that bring us to loggerheads.”
House Leaders Aden Duale (Garissa Township) and John Mbadi (Suba South) led MPs Makali Mulu (Kitui East), Cecil Mbarire (Nominated) in describing Nyenze as a natural arbitrator who listened to divergent views.
“Nyenze was very accommodating, he never opposed progressive business of the government, and I hope Mbadi (Minority Whip) and Junet Mohammed will learn. That led to some call him a mole,” said Mbarire who is the Majority Deputy Whip.
“He played a major role in bringing sanity to this House especially when we had Motions or Bills that would easily divide us as a House,” Majority Whip Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East) recalled.
“Mr Nyenze was a unique, humble person and I think a voice of reason,” Mulu told MPs.
House Speaker Justin Muturi, whose friendship with the late Nyenze goes back to when they were students at the University of Nairobi, said Kenya has lost a brave and selfless leader.
“We have lost one of our most vibrant MPs in Francis Nyenze for Kitui West, who debuted in the 1997 election, the Speaker said in his Communication to the House.
The late Nyenze served as a Minority Leader in the last Parliament and was re-elected on a Wiper Democratic Party ticket in August 8 General Election.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga had earlier said Nyenze steered the coalition MPs in the 11th Parliament in a difficult and hostile environment when he was the Minority Leader in the National Assembly.
While President Uhuru Kenyatta eulogised the departed MP as a champion of national interests and who would never allow narrow selfish interests to jeopardize the unity of Kenyans.
Nyenze also served as a Cabinet Minister in retired President Daniel arap Moi’s regime where he headed the dockets of Environment and Natural Resources in 1997 and Sports in 2001 respectively.