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Former minister Soita Shitanda passes on

By Luke Anami | May 24th 2016 | 3 min read
The late Shoita Shitanda. PHOTO: FILE

NAIROBI: President Uhuru Kenyatta has expressed shock at the demise of former Malava MP Peter Soita Shitanda who passed on Tuesday at Nairobi hospital.

Through Water CS Eugene Wamalwa, the President expressed shock following the death of one of his political friends.

"Following the death of our brother Shitanda, I immediately informed the President and his Deputy who both have expressed shock at the sudden death of our brother," Wamalwa said.

Wamalwa said both President Uhuru and his Deputy William Ruto had been keenly following his progress at the hospital where they were informed he was improving.

"The family had indicated that he was improving and the president was aware only to learn with shock that he has passed on," Wamalwa who condoled the wife and family at Soita's Runda home said.

Amani Party leader Musalia Mudavadi described the late Soita as an outstanding MP for Malava who initiated many development projects.

"He was a good debater and legislator who initiated a lot of development projects while working as Housing Minister," Mudavadi said who was among the first politicians to condole the family at Lee Funeral Home said.

Leader of Minority in the Senate and Bungoma senator Moses Wetang'ula described Soita as a dedicated legislator who served for two terms on his party ticket, Ford Kenya.

"We have lost a gentleman who aggressively fought for national unity and catalysed development activities in the 'Mulembe' nation. We assure the family that they are in our prayers and thoughts at this challenging time, coming at a time a week after we buried his brother."

Soita's brother Walucho was buried last Saturday at a funeral which he could not attend.

Former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo, Mumias East MP Ben Washiali and former cabinet minister Musikari Kombo were among the first to arrive at Nairobi hospital when they learned of his death.

"I was with him yesterday (Monday) and infect we were not discussing his illness but politics," Jirongo who described Soita as a close friend said.

His former Personal Assistant Clement Museve said the former Minister was hospitalised in the ICU on 8th this month following a Pneumonia attack but was out of the ICU last Sunday.

"He was re-admitted in the ICU today (Tuesday) morning and passed on at around 1.30 pm," Museve said.

Described as a development conscious politician, Shitanda was born in Malava; Tande in 1959 has been battling diabetes for a long time.

He went to Tande primary school for his Certificate of Primary Education 1967 to 1973. Thereafter he joined Malava High School for his O levels till 1977.

He joined Kenya Polytechnic in 1978 and thereafter worked as a trainee accountant at the Attorney General Chambers before joining Strathmore College between 1983 and 1984.

He then worked in various capacities in accounts department of Ministry of Finance between 1984 and 1997 and was later employed as an Accountant at Investment Promotion Centre between 1991 until 1997, when he decided to try his luck in politics.

A member of the New Ford Kenya party which he formed together with Kakamega Senator Dr Boni Khalwale in 1997, Soita made his first attempt in 1997 and was elected to represent Malava Constituency in the National Assembly of Kenya.

He vied then on a Ford Kenya ticket where he ousted the then, Minister of Health, the late Joshua Angatia.

He was re-elected to parliament for the second time in 2002 on the NARC ticket and served as an assistant minister in the office of the president, before he was appointed minister for housing in a cabinet reshuffle in 2005.

He was re-elected for the third time in 2007 and re-appointed Minister for Housing making him the longest serving MP for Malava constituency since independence.

He vied for position of Governor in the 2013 elections but lost to Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.
Until his death, he was the chairman of the Agriculture Development Corporation.

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