Former defence Minister Njenga Karume is dead
Former defense minister Njenga Karume is dead. Karume passed away on Friday at the Karen Hospital, Nairobi while undergoing treatment.
He was a key figure in GEMA politics and a leading businessman in the country.
His death comes at a time when Kenyans are mourning the death of yet another veteran politician John Michuki who died four days ago.
Karume who died at the age of 83 was an active member of the tribal Gikuyu, Embu, Meru Association (GEMA). He is the former Kiambaa Member of Parliament.
After failing to clinch his parliamentary seat in the 2007 general elections, the late Njenga Karume vowed to quit politics despite speculation that he intended to run for the Kiambu Senate seat in 2012.
He enrolled in rural elementary schools until he joined Kenya Institute of Administration, formerly Jeans School, where he was awarded a Diploma in Business Administration.
In the colonial days he started a wholesale shop in Nairobi’s Grogan Road now Kirinyaga Road becoming one of the first Africans to own a shop in a city dominated by Indians and Europeans.
In 2009 Karume released his auto-biography "Beyond expectations: From Charcoal to gold" a book that gives a chronology of how he rose from poverty to riches.
President Kibaki sent his condolence to the Karume family describing him as a courageous and dedicated servant.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga described him as a voice of reason who brought calm and stability to otherwise turbulent situations. He said Kenyans have lost a self made man who remained a true example of what we attain through sheer determination to beat poverty.
"He had deep faith in our country and in the ability of our people to uplift it to great heights. I join the people of Kenya and all our friends in mourning Mr Karume." Raila added.
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka also joined other leaders and the nation in mourning the late veteran politician cum businessman.
Mr. Musyoka paid a visit to the late Karume’s home in Cianda, Kiambu to condole with the bereaved family.
The Vice President who was accompanied by Cabinet Ministers, Amos Kimunya and Chirau Mwakwere and other dignitaries including Democartic Party Chairman Joseph Munyao and former minister Maina Kamanda were received by family members led by the Widow, Rev. Grace Njoki and one of Karume’s sons, Samuel Wanjema.
He described the late veteran politician as a hardworking person who despite coming from a humble background worked hard to become a successful entrepreneur and a politician.
He said it was unfortunate that the country had lost two prominent leaders within a week and urged Kenyans to pray for God’s fortitude during this difficult time.