Francis Nyenze’s family reveals his 10-year fight with cancer

Minority Leader in the National Assembly, Francis Nyenze

The late Kitui West Member of Parliament Francis Nyenze, who died on Wednesday (December 5), had been battling Colon Cancer for 10 years, his family has revealed.

Speaking at the Lee Funeral Home, where the late Nyenze’s body was moved, the family disclosed his health took a toll on him which saw him admitted at the Nairobi Hospital for the past three weeks.

According to the family, the former legislator preferred to keep his condition from the public until the August 8 General Election when he contracted pneumonia during his campaigns, which affected his lungs greatly.

During his swearing-in at Parliament Buildings on August 31, 2017, Nyenze carried an oxygen tank into the chambers, a sign that he was not in good health condition.

He was reportedly responding well to treatment by last evening when a few members of parliament went to visit him. Nyenze was in the company of some of his family members when he passed on at around 7.15am aged 60.

President Uhuru Kenyatta mourned Nyenze, eulogizing him as legislator who served his constituents with commitment and dedication.

“I have known the late Nyenze since the time he was a Cabinet Minister under President Moi’s administration, he was always keen on preserving our unity and nationhood. I urge all of us to emulate his leadership style,” said President Kenyatta.

In a statement sent to newsrooms, the National Super Alliance (NASA) leaders led by Raila Odinga mourned Nyenze’s demise terming him as, “a dedicated and outspoken leader who always stood by what he believed was good for his constituents and his nation”.

Various leaders from across the political divide also took to social media to pass their messages of condolence.

Born in 1958, Nyenze got into parliament in 1997 when he was elected MP for Kitui West on a KANU Party ticket.

He became a close political ally to then President Daniel Moi who appointed him Minister for Environment before transferring him to the Heritage and Sports Ministry during a Cabinet reshuffle in 2001.

Nyenze served as MP for one term before he was trounced in the 2002 elections by his then rival, Winnie Nyiva Mwendwa. He, however, made a comeback in 2013 when he reclaimed his position, which he successfully defended in the 2017 election.

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