Moving tributes for former Cabinet Minister Simeon Nyachae poured at a requiem mass on Thursday.
Family, friends and leaders who congregated at the St Maxwell SDA church, Nairobi remembered the Statesman for his contribution to public service and to the country at large.
Politicians who attended the service include ODM leader Raila Odinga, Health and Interior CSs Mutahi Kagwe and Fred Matiang’i, former Vice Presidents Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi, Kisii Governor, Deputy Governor and Senator James Ongwae, Joash Maangi and Sam Ongeri respectively, CoG Chair Governor Martin Wambora, former Chief Justice David Maraga among others.
What they said:
President Uhuru Kenyatta
The president praised Nyachae’s integrity and commitment to duty during his years of service, recalling how he (Nyachae) always had wise words for him whenever he sought advice.
“Titans of history like the late Mzee Nyachae only die a physical death,” Uhuru said in his speech.
Uhuru was absent at the service but had his speech read by Health CS Mutahi Kagwe.
The former prime minister reminisced of their political escapades together, adding how Nyachae was a great Kenyan patriot and the tremendous contribution he had made to the country.
ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi recalled how he served in the same cabinet as Nyachae, and his no-nonsense attitude.
“He always stood for merit. He didn’t believe in short cuts,” he told the congregants.
Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka praised Nyachae’s towering personality and good listenership, while Interior CS Fred Matiang’i was grateful that he had the privilege to work closely with the former minister, to the extent of being called ‘son’.
“He may have retired from public service but the public service in him never retired,” the CS said remembering how he was always up to offer advice.
His children who lit up the service with tales of their father reminisced on his disciplinary actions, and how he stuck by ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’.
“If we underperformed, you didn’t hold back.”
Nyachae died on February 1, aged 88 and will be buried on Monday in Nyosia, Kisii County.
His family confirmed that he was diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and received multiple treatments in Kenya and the UK.
The former cabinet minister officially joined politics in 1992 and served as Nyaribari Chache MP for 15 years.
He contested the presidency in 2002 on a Ford-Kenya ticket and came third after Mwai Kibaki and Uhuru Kenyatta.
He would then retire from active politics in 2007 to focus on family and business.
Nyachae was awarded several accolades throughout his career.