NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 23 – Kibra lawmaker Ken Okoth,41, has succumbed to colorectal cancer hours after being admitted to an Intensive Care Unit at the Nairobi Hospital.
The legislator who described himself as an educator, humanist, and cancer warrior died Friday afternoon.
His cancer had advanced to stage IV.
He returned to the country recently after being hospitalized in France for five months.
According to his brother, Imran, Okoth breathed his last in the presence of close family members, who included his wife.
“We want to inform the nation and the people of Kibra, their leader is no more,” he said.
His remains were transferred to the Lee Funeral home.
Shortly after the news broke, tens of Kibra residents camped outside Nairobi Hospital, some crying others wailing, while otherS simply watched at a distance in distraught.
“Oh God, why Okoth! Why did you take Okoth?” a lady yelled in anger amidst tears.
Leaders and organizations from across the country sent in their messages of condolences, terming Okoth as great and a resilient person.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen are among leaders who joined Kenyans in condoling with the family of the late legislator.
In his message of condolence, President Kenyatta said the country has been robbed of an astute lawmaker who touched the lives of many Kenyans.
“It is with a heavy heart that I have this afternoon received the sad news of the death of Kibra MP Hon. Ken Okoth. Death has robbed us of an astute legislator. May God comfort his family, friends and indeed all Kenyans during this difficult period of mourning,” said the Head of State in a message released through State House twitter handle.
“Okoth had a dogged personality, tenacity that elevated him among his peers and gave him an invincible aura. His battle with cancer exemplified his bravery, endurance and strength in adversity. Condolences to his family, friends and the people of Kibra. Rest In Peace,” DP Ruto tweeted.
Chief Justice David Maraga described Okoth as a vibrant, dedicated legislator “who connected well with his people.”
Orange Democratic Movement Secretary General Edwin Sifuna said, “We have lost our brother, friend and Kibra MP Ken Okoth. A fine gentleman and legislator, Okoth was an exemplary human being and we will forever be grateful for the time we had with him. To his family, friends and Constituents poleni sana from all of us at The ODM Party.”
“We learn with a lot of sadness and sorrow the passing on of Kibra Member of Parliament Hon Ken Okoth. Mheshimiwa was very critical and supportive to our legislative campaigns through the Kenya Parliamentary Human Rights Association (KEPHRA). He was a true champion for human rights. Our condolences and prayers to his family and friends at these trying times #RIPHonOkoth,” reads a statement by human rights organisation, the Independent Medico Legal Unit (IMLU).
Okoth is associated with immense development in Kibra more so in the education sector, where he has overseen a revolutionary improvement of infrastructure and other school facilities.
He was serving his second term in the National Assembly as the Kibra constituency representative.