KISII, Kenya Feb 15 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday led Kenyans in giving former Cabinet Minister Simeon Nyachae a hero’s send-off.
Nyachae, who died on February 1, 2021, was buried at his Nyosia village home in Kisii County, at a private ceremony attended by close family and friends.
The President paid glowing tribute to the maverick politician and independence era public administrator, describing him as a remarkable leader who motivated all around him to be honourable, decisive and accountable to the people they serve.
“He was an honest man and a man of dignity. And without doubt, he was a disciplinarian but not only on disciplining others but also in the discipline with which he carried himself,” the president said, “The most important message we need to take home is that we are not here to talk about somebody who used to talk to people and do the opposite, no. What he told us to do, he himself did.”
The Head of State spoke at Gusii Stadium in Kisii County during the funeral service attended by thousands of mourners among them Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
In honour of the former Cabinet Minister, President Kenyatta announced, the renaming of Gusii Stadium to Simeon Nyachae Stadium and a Sh150 million Government grant to the County Government of Kisii for the upgrading of the sporting facility to international standards.
“In his memory, and in consultation with the leadership of Kisii County, and to fortify our appreciation of this great son of Kenya, as a Government, we have considered it fit to rename this stadium – the Simeon Nyachae Stadium Kisii,” the President announced.
Further, the Head of State directed Sports, Culture and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed to immediately set up a sports academy at Nyanturago stadium to tap and nurture the sports potential of the region’s youth. The sports academy will be named after former Kenyan international long-distance runner, the late Nyandika Mayioro.
The Head of State emphasized that the late Nyachae stood tall amongst dedicated patriots, adding that his service to Kenya was characterized by utmost integrity, rare zeal and bridled commitment to duty, qualities that earned him accolades in three successive administrations.
“Therefore, as we mourn the loss of this great son of Kenya, we pay tribute to his legacy, which, I trust, will be carried on for generations to come. Titans of history like the late Mzee Nyachae only die a physical death. For their legacy in the millions of lives that they have made better, they enjoy immortality of the soul,” the President said.
President Kenyatta recalled his many interactions with the late Nyachae, at a personal level, eulogising the fallen leader as an elder, a mentor, a counselor and his friend.
“Mzee Nyachae always had a word of wisdom, advice and encouragement for me. And his impact on my life shall never be lost just as his vision for this country shall never be forgotten,” the President said.
In his tribute, Deputy President Ruto remembered the late Nyachae as a patriotic Kenyan, a consummate administrator and public servant, an astute businessman, a brave and courageous politician, and a loving, strict but also forgiving father.
Former Prime Minister Odinga said Nyachae was schooled and excelled in the tradition of the British civil service which promotes excellence and greatness in the service of the people.
Other speakers were Interior CS Fred Matiang’i, Kisii Governor James Ongwae who is also the Deputy Chairperson of the Council of Governors and Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka as well as political party leaders Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper) and Gideon Moi (KANU).