NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 15 – The Council of Governors (CoG) has mourned Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji who died on Monday as a leader who safeguarded the interests of counties on matters security during his tenure as the chairperson of the Senate Security and Foreign Relations Committee.
CoG Chairperson Martin Wambora said the country has lost a great statesman and a patriarch who contributed immensely to its unity.
Wambora further stated that Haji was a man of integrity, extremely transparent and accountable to his constituents and the nation at large.
“He was a mentor and wise counsel to many and we shall greatly miss him. On behalf of the Council of Governors and the County Governments, I would like to convey our heartfelt condolences to the family, Senate colleagues, relatives, friends, Garissa County and the Country at large,” Wambora stated in a condolence note released on Monday.
Senator Haji died at the Agha Khan Hospital after a long illness and he will be buried at the Lang’ata Cemetery Monday evening.
He served as a Provincial Commissioner between 1970 and 1997, as the Minister for Defense from 2008 to 2013 and briefly as Minister for Internal Security and Provincial Affairs in 2012.
“It is very unfortunate that we have lost such a dependable, solid and highly accomplished Kenyan leader,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a message of condolence to the family.
“Mzee Haji was a highly respected leader and elder whose wisdom, deep knowledge of the Kenyan society and long experience as a public administrator enabled him to serve the country in various leadership roles with distinction for many years,” the President said.
“Mzee has rested, he passed on this morning at the Aga Khan Hospital,” a family member said.
Haji, the father of Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji, was flown to Turkey for treatment late last year but returned to the country on Saturday when his health stabilized.
Family sources indicated he suffered multiple organ failure on Monday morning, leading to his death. Plans were underway for his burial at the Lang’ata Muslim Cemetery later Monday.
Deputy President William Ruto said Haji was a “selfless, progressive, dependable and a committed champion for a more united and inclusive Kenya.”
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga mourned Haji as a “dedicated patriot and a humble servant”
Ministry of Interior said Haji was a generational role model who has left an indelible Mark in the lives of Kenyans and more specifically the people of Garissa.
“It’s a huge blow to the people of Garissa and the family to lose such a generational role model. We’re earnestly sorry for your loss,” the ministry tweeted.
Defence Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma was among government officials who visited Haji’s home on Monday.