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Kakamega County to meet Soita Shitanda's burial expenses

COUNTIES
By Alex Wakhisi and Ignatius Odanga | May 26th 2016 | 2 min read
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and his deputy Prof Philip Kutima console relatives of former Housing Minister Soita Shitanda as his home in Butali Kakamega County. By Benjamin Sakwa.

The county government will cater for medical and funeral expenses of former Housing Minister Soita Shitanda.

Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said they will also reach out to the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), where Mr Shitanda was chairman, to see how to settle the hospital bills.

The county government will lead the 12-member funeral committee.

Mr Oparanya made the revelation when he visited the home of Shitanda in Malava yesterday.

“Shitanda loved peace and never insulted people; we need to give him a decent burial devoid of abuses and politics of hatred,” said the governor.

The governor recalled his last meeting with Shitanda on Monday, when he visited the former minister in hospital upon arrival from official duty in India.

“I visited him on Monday and his health had deteriorated. I was to see him again on Friday but that never came to be,” Oparanya said.

He termed Shitanda’s death a big blow to the community. The two vied for the gubernatorial seat in 2013.

Other leaders in the region joined Kenyans in mourning Shitanda, saying the country had lost a devoted leader.

Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka said New Ford Kenya had lost one of its founders, adding that the former minister was a person of great humour.

Personal Doctor

“I was shocked after receiving the news of the passing on of my long-term friend Shitanda. I remember him as a founder member of New Ford Kenya,” said Mr Lusaka.

Senator Boni Khalwale said he was at pains to accept the death of his brother, friend and patient.

“It pains me to mourn Shitanda who has been my brother, friend and political ally. The big gift he has left with the people of Malava is the Butali Sugar Company. I mourn him and may his soul rest in peace,” said Dr Khalwale.

Navakholo MP Emmanuel Wangwe said the country had lost a leader who fought for the development of his people.

He said Shitanda was a strong leader who overcame the political turbulence in 2007 when the Opposition swept almost all elective seats in the region.

“Shitanda has been a great leader and our mentor,” said the MP.

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