Kenyan minister dies, President names replacement

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Nairobi, July 8 (IANS) Kenyan Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery died while undergoing a medical check-up at a hospital here on Saturday, an official said. He was 67.

Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua said Nkaissery died a few hours after being admitted to the Karen Hospital for a check-up, Xinhua news agency reported.

Sources said the minister went to the hospital after feeling unwell.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta led the nation in mourning Nkaissery’s death.

Kenyatta in a televised address called on Kenyans to stand united, and appointed Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi as the acting Interior Cabinet Secretary.

“His (Nkaissery) death comes at a critical time as we approach the general election. We assure all Kenyans that the nation is secured and our forces are doing all they can to ensure our security,” he said.

Nkaissery, born in 1949, was picked from the opposition to head the ministry in December 2014.

Kenyatta, who cancelled hit political rally scheduled in Turkana following the passing away of Nkaissery, described the late minister as one of the best leaders in his government.

“I have personally lost a friend. We spent the entire day yesterday (Friday) praying for the peace of our nation. We held discussions with the CS as late as 9.30 p.m. We were discussing issues on peace and security of this country among Kenya’s preparedness for Junior Athletics which commences in a few days,” he said.

“I send my condolences to his wife and children, his friends and the Maa community. I call on Kenyans to uphold peace in this difficult time. More details will be given on this untimely death,” he added.

–IANS

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