NAIROBI, Kenya July 8 – Fresh details have emerged indicating that Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery was rushed to hospital after collapsing in his house.
According to leaders quoting his security detail and family members, Nkaissery had just taken dinner with his family, did regular exercises before he collapsed and was rushed to Karen Hospital where he was pronounced dead, in what is believed to be a heart attack.
“I have spoken to his closest bodyguard who says they were together, and whenever he goes home he engages in exercises before retiring to bed. And he did that and even had dinner with his wife, so falling down and being taken to hospital, whether it is cardiac arrest, he had not showed any signs,” Kajiado Senator Peter Mositet told journalists at the Lee Funeral Home where Nkaissery’s body is preserved awaiting postmortem.
But a statement from the Head of the Civil Service Francis Kinyua said Nkaissery died in hospital where he had gone for a medical checkup.
“He passed on after being admitted for a check-up,” he added, “The country to be updated as more information becomes available,” Kinyua said.
And when he spoke to journalists at the Lee Funeral Home, Kinyua said “Let us not speculate, let us wait for the postmortem report.”
The death of Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery has been described as a big blow to the country, coming just a month to the August 8 General Election.
“There is need for an urgent appointment so that the country can get a substantive Security Cabinet Secretary because this is a critical period,” Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa said.
Former Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku, who is vying for the Kajiado gubernatorial seat, said the loss will also be felt in the Maasai land where he was regarded as the head, since the death of William Ole Ntimama.
“This is not only a big loss to the community but a loss to the whole country because of the position Nkaissery was holding,” Lenku said, while describing Nkaissery as a dedicated and selfless leader.
Elijah Memusi who replaced Nkaissery as MP for Kajiado Central urged Kenyans to remain calm, while saying it is a huge loss to the country.
“It is a loss to the whole country and the timing is bad because the county is headed to General Election, and I want to tell the Maa community that the death of Nkaissery should unite us,” he said.
Speaker of Nairobi County Assembly Alex Ole Magelo said “it is hard to imagine that Nkaissery is dead because he was in good health.”
“This is one of the most shocking news to the country and the Maa community. We have lost our great leaders, we lost George Saitoti, William Ole Ntimama, John Keen and now Nkaissery, and I urge the Maa community to remain united.”
Nkaissery’s death, coming exactly a month to the General Election set for August 8, is a big blow to the nation due to the critical role he was playing in strategising with top security chiefs to ensure a peaceful election.
State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu said, “It is very sad indeed, the CS is dead.”
Nkaissery was a Member of Parliament until 2014 when he resigned to take up President Uhuru Kenyatta’s appointment as Interior Cabinet Secretary to replace Joseph Ole Lenku who was unceremoniously dismissed in the wake of increased insecurity in the country.
He joined politics in 2002 when he retired from the military at the rank of Major General, having served for 29 years.
He was then elected Member of Parliament in 2007, and was later appointed Assistant Minister for Internal Security by former President Mwai Kibaki in 2008-2013.
He was elected to Parliament on an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), before he fell out with the party leader Raila Odinga, when he joined President Kenyatta’s government.