Kitui West MP Francis Nyenze dies in hospital


Kitui West MP Francis Nyenze dies in hospital
Kitui West Member of Parliament Francis Nyenze.

Kitui West Member of Parliament Francis Nyenze is dead.

Nyenze, who was the Minority Leader in the 11th Parliament, died on Wednesday morning at The Nairobi Hospital after a long battle with Colon Cancer. His body was moved to the Lee Funeral Home.

During his swearing-in at Parliament Buildings on August 31, 20017, Nyenze carried an oxygen tank into the chambers, a sign that he was not in good health condition.

Despite looking frail, Nyenze put on a brave face and took his oath with the oxygen tank behind him and tubes running up his back.

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.

In the weeks to presidential nominations, the fallen Kitui West MP championed for Musyoka to be picked as the flag bearer  of the National Super Alliance (NASA), even threatening that Wiper would quit the coalition should the tidings not favor their party leader.

Nyenze eventually conceded when NASA picked Raila Odinga as the flag bearer but not without controversy when he appeared in the company of Public service Cabinet secretary Sicily Kariuki in an event held in Kitui as he pledged a voice for then Jubilee candidate Uhuru Kenyatta.

Nyenze’s controversial stand in the coalition did not sway his support base effectively retaining his seat in the August 8, 2017 election.

In a statement sent to newsrooms, NASA 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”.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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