Former minister Joe Nyagah was on Saturday laid to rest at his family home in Mbeti South, Mbeere South Constituency.
According to his wishes, Nyagah was buried next to his grandfather’s grave facing the hills of Mbeere. He was also buried with clothes he had won before, and there was no public viewing of his body.
Several high profile leaders attended the funeral service in Kamutungi village to pay their last respects to Nyagah.
They included; Deputy President (DP) William Ruto, Embu Governor Martin Wambora and his Kisumu counterpart Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, Senator Njeru Ndwiga, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, CSs Sicily Kariuki, Mutahi Kagwe, Najib Balala, and Amina Mohamed, and all the six Embu MPs, just to name but a few.
The family of Joe appealed to all Kenyans to take COVID-19 seriously and adhere to the Ministry of Health’s protocols.
Joe’s first-born son Mwaniki Nyagah said that as a family they only took COVID-19 seriously after their father contracted the disease.
“Coronavirus is real. We have seen it with our own eyes. My father was physically strong and walked 10 km every morning but COVID took him in 4 weeks,” said Mwaniki.
DP Ruto read President Uhuru Kenyatta’s speech at the funeral service. Uhuru eulogised Nyagah as a “social, humble, kind, generous and courageous person” whose shoes will be hard fill.
“I remember when Joe was a minister in KANU, his brother, Norman, was the opposition chief whip. And many a times we were wondering what could possibly be happening between these two at home.
“But we came to the conclusion that they were independent, progressive democrats. Joe was a person who pursued his leadership career devoured of ethnicity ” eulogised DP Ruto.
The former Minister for Cooperative Development and Marketing in the grand coalition government died on Friday, December 4 while receiving COVID-19 treatment at the Nairobi Hospital.
He was a member of the Kenya African National Union (KANU) and a minister in late President Daniel Moi’s government.
In the lead up to the 2002 General Election, Nyagah quit KANU and joined the opposition, National Rainbow Coalition (Narc).
In the lead up to the 2007 General Election, Nyagah was a member of the Orange Democratic Movement’s (ODM) ‘Pentagon’ comprised of Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi, current Deputy President William Ruto, serving Tourism Minister Najib Balala, and current Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu.
In 2017, Nyaga quit his position as the Presidential advisor on regional integration as well as the chancellor of Cooperative University of Kenya to vie for Presidency.