Uhuru invites ailing legend Kadenge to State House

AFC Leopards and Harambee Stars legend Joe Kadenge at the Metropolitan Hospital in Buruburu where ...
AFC Leopards and Harambee Stars legend Joe Kadenge at the Metropolitan Hospital in Buruburu where he was rushed after he collapsed while watching National Super League (NSL) match between Nzoia United FC and KCB at the Camp Toyoyo Grounds on October 12, 2016. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

President Uhuru Kenyatta has finally granted football legend Joe Kadenge his wish to meet him at State House Nairobi as he continues to recover from his latest health scare at home.

Government officials from the Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts who visited the icon at his home confirmed Kadenge who was hospitalised on Boxing Day would have his moment with the Head of State on Thursday evening.

The ailing Kadenge had made the plea to meet President Uhuru and his predecessors Mwai Kibaki and Daniel Arap Moi saying it was among the things in his bucket list before his eventual demise.

Permanent Secretary for Culture Joe Okudo revealed the visit was an instruction from the President who wishes to see Kadenge in the coming days.

“It’s true that the President will see Kadenge. He heard his wish to meet him and that’s why I’m here, to see his state of affairs including his health so that we plan their meeting in two or three days time as Mzee had requested,” told Okudo.

Okudo, who was accompanied by the Director of Administration Weslus Ong’ayo said the Ministry is in the process of allocating a budgetary plan in the next financial year to set up an initiative to benefit the heroes from the past like Kadenge.

“The State Department in the Ministry is actually dealing with heroes, and there is an Act that is going to establish Heroes’ Council to look into modalities of how we deal with people identified as Kenyan heroes in a systematic way in the long term.

“This will help us avoid cases of emergencies such as what Kadenge is going through,” Okudo underscored.

While thanking the President for the appointment, Kadenge 82, pleaded for Government intervention to bar the County Government of Nairobi from selling his house to a private developer.

“If a person has lived in a house for 50-60 years, how do you tell him to vacate it? It’s reasonable if a direction on how to buy the house in installments is given,” the former Harambee Stars player and coach urged.

According to Kadenge, he has lived in the house since 1963.

Former international Sammy Shollei appreciated goodwill from Kenyans around the country during the latest illness battle faced by Kadenge since he collapsed in a family outing on December 23.

“We have been receiving overwhelming messages from ordinary Kenyans to top leaders in this nation. Our aim is to get Kadenge a health insurance cover. We will also have a fund drive on Friday at the Kenya Railways Club to help us offset the Ksh 2 million hospital bill,” remarked Shollei.

Another initiative driven through WhatsApp that was started by Shollei two days after his hospitalisation in a Nairobo hospital has raised almost Ksh900,000.

The legend who played Abaluhya Football Club (today AFC Leopards) among other clubs, was rushed to Meridian Hospital in South B after he was overcome by diabetes and high blood pressure on December 26.

He has been managing the condition that has grown delicate with time impairing his vision after Kadenge suffering stroke in 2006.

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Story By Jacob Icia
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