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Independence struggle-era politician Sheikh Salim, CS Najib Balala's elder brother, is dead

Tourism CS Najib Balala. His brother Sheikh Salim Mohamed Abdallah Balala died on September 1, 2022. [File, Standard]

Independence struggle-era politician Sheikh Salim Mohamed Abdallah Balala is dead.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said Sheikh Salim, who is his elder brother, will be buried on Thursday, September 1, at Kikowani Muslim cemetery.

“It is with great sadness to announce the death of my eldest brother Sheikh Salim Mohamed Abdallah Balala,” said the CS on his verified social media platforms.

The late Sheikh Salim was a KANU nominated MP who also served as Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning from 1966 to 1974 and therefore, a member of the first generation of Kenya's pre and immediate post-independence era politicians.

At the Coast, Sheikh Salim, late Shariff Nassir, and mzee Mohamed Jahazi were among the KANU leaders who stood up against pro-majimbo KADU that was headed by the late Ronald Ngala.

Sheikh Salim and Jahazi were among 12 people who earned Special Nomination Seats (SNS) in the first post-independent Parliament in 1963. SNS was equivalent to the present nominated MPs.

President Uhuru Kenyatta described Sheikh Salim as a great leader who had a clear vision for the country’s growth and development.

“Death has robbed the nation of an astute and progressive leader who played a key role in laying the foundation for the country’s social-economic development,” read a statement from State House.

Banker Suleiman Shahbal said Sheikh Salim was a great and respected community leader until when he got sick. “I am delighted to see the family and brothers have carried the family tradition,” he said.

“Sheikh Salim who is the brother of CS Balala and father to Mombasa Transport County Executive Taufiq Balala was a noble man who helped put the great family name on the map,” said Shahbal.

Ex-Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho said the county will mourn Sheikh Salim who he described as one of the Coast region’s gallant sons.

"On behalf of the people of Mombasa we extend my condolence to the family,” said Joho.