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Laboso memorial set for Thursday in Nairobi ahead of Saturday burial

Dr Joyce Laboso died on July 29, 2019 after a long battle with cancer. Photo/COURTESY.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 31 – Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso will be buried on Saturday at her home in Fort Ternan, Kisumu County, according to her family and the organising committee.

Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter, who chairs the funeral committee said a requiem mass will be held in Nairobi at the All Saints Cathedral on Thursday before the body is taken to Bomet for public viewing.

“The government in consultation with the family are in agreement that the burial will be held on Saturday,” Keter told a news conference on Tuesday night.

“The body will be in Bomet Green stadium until Friday afternoon because Joyce served as a Member of Parliament for Sotik for two terms and she was the Governor of Bomet since 2017 that is why those people have been given quite long hours to view her body before it is taken to Fort Ternan for burial,” Keter added.

Laboso, succumbed to cancer on Monday while undergoing treatment at the Nairobi Hospital barely two weeks after returning back to the country from India where she had gone to seek treatment for Cancer. She was in the UK earlier before she was taken to India.

News of her death shocked the nation, coming three days after the death of Ken Okoth, the Kibra legislator who also succumbed to cancer.

Ken Okoth who died on July 26, 2019. Photo/FILE.

“The rate at which we are losing leaders to cancer is alarming, and I think this is the time we need to quickly come up with legislation both at the Senate and National Assembly to address this as a disaster that is with us now,” he said, “because you can imagine those who are a bit privileged can be able to go India and other advanced hospitals but for the poor, we need to come up with a legislation that can take both the poor and the rich,” Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka said, and called for the establishment of an urgent legislation on cancer management following the increased cases.

Okoth too died of cancer on Friday, after seeking treatment in France unsuccessfully.
Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong’o said, “I do hope that we find a solution so that we don’t continue losing many people to cancer.”

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko said “There are more than 60 MPs who are battling cancer and this a very serious, as leaders we should now sit and strategize on how to go about this monster.”

Laboso’s widower Edwin Obonyo recounted the difficult time the family had faced during the entire period she was ailing, and lauded the government for standing with them.

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“It has not been easy for us,” he said, “but the government was always on our side and we received a lot of support.”
Council of Governor Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya said he received information of her death while meeting fellow governors over the revenue stand-off.

“It is shocking and devastating to lose one of us,” he said, “we will miss her because of the work she did for her people. When I visited her in hospital, the one question she asked was if we (counties) had been given money.”

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