SAGANA, Kenya Jan 1— President Uhuru Kenyatta has mourned former Cabinet Minister Simeon Nyachae, who passed away Monday aged 88, as an icon of Kenya’s progress through the years.
In a message of comfort to the family of the independence era provincial administrator, the President said the late Nyachae’s successful transition from public service to the world of business and politics was a demonstration that focus and hard work pays.
“I am deeply saddened by the passing away of Mzee Simeon Nyachae, a distinguished son of Kenya, a friend and a man whose contribution to the making of the Kenyan nation will remain with us for eternity,” the president said and described him as a “wise statesman whose long service to the nation helped shape the country’s standing as one of Africa’s most progressive economies.”
Nyachae’s death was confirmed by his son Charles who is a judge of the East African Court of Justice.
“Mzee has rested after a long illness,” he told journalists outside the Lee Funeral Home where he was flanked by family members and Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi among others.
He passed on at the Nairobi Hospital where he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit after his health deteriorated.
“We thank God for mzee’s life and we appreciate Nairobi hospital and doctors who have been looking after the mzee,” Charles said.
Matiangi mourned with the family and described Nyachae’s death as a “sad day for all of us”.
The cause of his death was not immediately confirmed but he was diagnosed with prostate cancer several years ago.
Nyachae, who served in the governments of founding President Jomo Kenyatta, retired President, the late, Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki will be remembered for reforms in various sectors when he served in its portfolios.
At the tail end of his career, Nyachae served as the Head of the Public Service in which he is remembered for various far-reaching reforms due to his strictness.
In his condolence message, President Kenyatta recalled his interactions with the deceased over the years saying the former Nyaribari Chache MP was a jolly, accessible and dependable elder whose wise counsel and friendship he will miss.
“I recall with nostalgia my many interactions with Mzee Nyachae over the years. As an elder and friend, Mzee Nyachae always had a word of wisdom and encouragement for me. Many will remember and miss Mzee Nyachae’s warm personality and especially his hearty and infectious laughter,” President Kenyatta recalled.