Former minister Joe Nyagah is dead

Joe Nyaga. [File, Standard]

Joe Nyagah, a former minister and presidential candidate, is dead, his family has confirmed.

Nyagah died on Friday at a hospital in Nairobi. He was 72 years old.

Family sources told Standard Digital he had been battling Covid-19.

An Alliance High School, University of Nairobi, Northwestern University, Kelloggs Business School-trained student, Nyagah began public service as an Ambassador in Brussels, Belgium in the early 1980s.

President Daniel arap Moi then appointed him as the Managing Director and CEO of Kenya Airways in 1987, a position he held for three years and nine months.

Nyagah was elected as a Member of Parliament for Gachoka Constituency in 1998 and served as a minister in various ministries including the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the Ministry of Lands and Settlement.

He quit as a member of the governing Kenya African National Union (Kanu) and as a minister in the run-up to the 2002 General Election.

In that year, he contested the Gachoka constituency seat on an opposition ticket. He won.

Nyagah was a member of the Orange Democratic Movement's 'Pentagon' in the lead up to the 2007 General Election.

He was appointed Minister for Cooperative Development by Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaki during the Grand Coalition Government.

The Nyagah family has held sway in the politics of Kenya.

His father, Jeremiah Nyagah, served in President Daniel arap Moi's cabinet.

His brother Nahashon Nyagah served as governor of the Central Bank of Kenya.

A second brother, Norman Nyagah, served as Member of Parliament for Gachoka constituency in the Opposition Democratic Party.

In 2017, Joe Nyagah unsuccessfully contested the presidency as an independent candidate.