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Ruto, Uhuru mourn former Education CS George Magoha

Former Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

President William Ruto has led the nation in eulogising former Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha.

In a statement to newsrooms on Tuesday, the president mourned Magoha as a towering giant and one who stood tall in matters of Education.

The president said the country had lost a gifted, unique, distinguished and great servant of Kenya.

"I have been privileged to know and work with the late Professor in many capacities, from the university where I completed my postgraduate studies, to government, where he served with distinction as the chair of KNEC and later as my colleague in Cabinet. We have lost a gifted, unique, distinguished and great servant of Kenya," said Ruto.

He added; "I also send condolences to his family and pray that Almighty God grants them divine comfort and grace in this moment of grief."

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta eulogised Magoha a celebrated academic who leaves behind a strong legacy of public service.

"It is unfortunate and painful that we've lost my friend Prof George Magoha at a time when his family is mourning his brother," the former President said as he wished the Magoha family God's comfort.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said; "I have learnt of the demise of Prof. George Magoha with great shock. Known for his independence of mind and fearlessness, Prof. Magoha was an accomplished professional who served Kenya with zeal as witnessed when he served as the CS for Education and other posts held earlier."

On his part, Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga has mourned him as a transformational leader, illustrious scholar, dedicated public servant, and distinguished medical doctor who left an indelible mark in the country's education system. 

"We will remember him for his incredible intellect, wit, and ability to inspire and challenge us to do our best. My condolences go out to his family and colleagues," said Odinga.

National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula said Magoha's death was a big loss and a blow to the education sector.

"I have vivid memories of this great and tough scholar who had distinguished himself by his immense contribution to the education sector of our country. He will be fondly remembered for his selfless service on impacting change in the education field while at the helm of the education ministry."

On his part, Senate Speaker Amason Kingi said; "The demise of Prof George Magoha, former Education CS, a scholar and medic of outstanding repute, has left us all in deep shock! Words cannot express our collective heartbreak as a nation. I condole with his family and Kenyans at large following this loss."

ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo said he had learnt of Magoha's death in shock and disbelief. 

"Prof. Magoha will be remembered as a focused professional in his field, and a candid stickler for discipline and efficiency in institutional leadership and management. He will be sadly missed," Owalo said.

Former State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita eulogized him saying: “I’m saddened by the shocking news of the passing of this great man Hon. Dr George Magoha.We worked so well together,no time for small talk, didn’t suffer fools and focused only on results. His commitment to bettering Kenya’s education standards is unquestionable."

Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga said in a statement; "The sudden passing on of Prof. George Magoha comes as a deep shocker. Behind his serious demeanour was a gentle soul committed to excellence. My most sincere condolences to his family and friends."

Magoha died aged 71 at the Nairobi Hospital.