, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 25 – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has set up a committee to oversee burial arrangements for Yvonne Wamalwa, the widow of former Vice President Michael Kijana Wamalwa who died Thursday morning.
Yvonne’s brother-in-law, Water and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Eugine Wamalwa, told the media at the Lee funeral home on Thursday evening that a family committee will be set up by Friday to help plan for the funeral.
“We’ll constitute a family committee to work alongside with a committee from the Foreign Affairs Ministry which has already started preparations to ensure we give our sister a dignified send-off,” he said accompanied by former minister and Webuye lawmaker Musikari Kombo, the Kenyan envoy to Turkey, Kiema Kilonzo, and Yvonne Khamati, the deputy ambassador of Kenya in Mogadishu.
According to Wamalwa, the deceased had been on treatment for a while within and outside the country.
She had in the last few months returned to the country from Australia where she was serving as deputy ambassador.
Wamalwa thanked the Foreign Affair Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed for supporting the family following Yvonne’s death.
Earlier in the day, President Uhuru Kenyatta eulogized Yvonne as a selfless leader committed to serving the nation.
“The passing of Yvonne has robbed us the selfless leader who was a role model in her community and in the nation. Hers was servanthood leadership,” the Head of State said.
“As an ambassador, it was always about the interests of Kenya. She served with distinction the,” President Kenyatta added.
Deputy President William Ruto described Yvonne as a dedicated individual who served the nation with zeal.
“A philanthropist, she took in orphans and the less privileged under her wing and gave their lives new meaning. Wamalwa was a strong woman, who braved adversity to raise a young family, with little time to grieve her husband,” Ruto tweeted.
CS Amina Mohamed described Yvonne as “a consummate diplomat, an expert negotiator, and a well-spoken, passionate patriot.”
NASA co-leader Musalia Mudavadi said her death came as a surprise.
“Her death took me by surprise as it must many Kenyans. Yvonne has lived a near-quiet life away from the limelight. That deliberate choice tells a lot about her sense of endurance and purpose,” he said.
Yvonne also served as the Deputy Permanent Representative of Kenya to the United Nations Habitat offices in Nairobi under President Mwai Kibaki’s administration.
She lost her husband, Michael Wamalwa, in August 2003, shortly after he assumed office as Vice President under President Kibaki.