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Kericho Deputy Governor Susan Kikwai succumbs to Covid-19

Kericho Deputy Governor Susan Kikwai in traditional regalia. [Courtesy]

Kericho Deputy Governor Susan Kikwai has succumbed to Covid-19 while undergoing treatment at Siloam Hospital.

According to County Secretary Joel Bett, Kikwai was admitted to the hospital five days ago.

She lost the battle to the deadly virus on Saturday at 9 am, Mr Bett said.

Immediately the news about her death was confirmed, Bett, County Health Executive committee members Dr Shadrach Mutai, Barnabas Ngeno (Lands), and Charles Birech (Trade) went to the hospital to oversee the presentation of the body.

Also present was Speaker of the County assembly Dominic Rono.

Governor Paul Chepkwony also confirmed the death but said he would issue a statement later in the day.

The late Kikwai was serving her second and final term having been first elected in the year 2013 as Governor and Deputy and 2017 respectively.

Before going into politics, Ms.Kikwai was the former Managing Director of Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) under the Ministry of Finance from 2005 to 2012.

Deputy President William Ruto's wife, Rachel, with Kericho County Deputy Governor Mrs. Susan Kikwai during the official opening of Kipkelion Empowerment Sacco office at Londiani Town in Kericho County [Courtesy]

She had a Masters of Business Administration in International Management from Morgan State University in Maryland. Her first degree was in Bachelor of Science in Economics and her second degree is in Bachelor of Arts French from Salve Regina University in Rhode Island.

In 2007, Ms.Kikwai was awarded The Order of the Grand Warrior of Kenya (OGW) by former President Mwai Kibaki for her outstanding performance in investment promotion.

In the year 2008, she was overwhelmingly elected President of African Investment Promotion Agency Network (AfrIPAnet) by 45 African Nations.

While working for the national government, Ms.Kikwai was instrumental in attracting various domestic, regional and international investments.

In 2003, Ms Kikwai received Awards for reinforcement of investment promotion at the regional level (Kenya and Rwanda) and Department of the Year Award among other honours.

As a very passionate person on entrepreneurship and investments, Ms Kikwai was instrumental organising the first-ever County Investment Conference (KECICO). There were Ward Investment Consultative Forums held where each ward showcased what they could produce. This concept we dubbed 'One Ward, One Product'.

Ms. Kikwai has also served in several boards including Vision 2030 Delivery Board, Export Promotion Council and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

As an astute leader, Ms Kikwai was very successful in putting together very effective fora to address the business promotion of many of Kenya’s existing and promising industries.