The Nakuru County Assembly has lost its third member in six months after London MCA Sammy Karanja succumbed to a disorder of the Pancreas on Wednesday night.
Minority leader Peter Palang’a who was accompanied by the deceased’s family members dispelled earlier reports that Karanja had died from Covid-19, adding that the MCA had been undergoing treatment for pancreatitis at the Nakuru War Memorial Hospital.
The deceased remains were later moved to Umash Funeral Home located on the Nakuru-Nairobi Highway.
Karanja’s death comes nearly two weeks after Hells Gate MCA John Njuguna, who was commonly referred to as Wa Sussy died on November 9, 2020.
Announcing his death, County Assembly speaker Mr Joel Kairu confirmed that the Hells Gate MCA had succumbed to the Coronavirus. He had been taken to Nakuru Nursing Home after developing complications and was put in the Intensive Care Unit.
On April 18th this year Lakeview MCA Karanja Mburu passed on following a road accident along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.
The early morning accident near Diatomite Centre in Gilgil occurred after the outspoken MCA’s vehicle veered off the road, rolled and crashed on a tree-killing him on the spot.
In his message of condolence, Governor Lee Kinyanjui eulogised the London MCA as a unifying figure who had managed to bring together diverse ethnic communities in the populous ward.
“Sammy had a unique responsibility of representing a highly multi-ethnic ward, which gave him a broader and more balanced political approach. He was an honest and hardworking leader who displayed a great zeal in resolving his constituents’ problems,” he said.
“Sammy was an easy going, likeable leader who had no time for petty disagreements. He was a peacemaker per excellence,” stated Mr Kinyanjui.
Nakuru Town West Member of Parliament Samuel Arama described Karanja as a noble and dedicated servant of the people. He said the MCA’s death was a big loss to the county.
“This death is a loss for us all because Karanja was a committed and loyal leader who transformed the mindset of the youth by encouraging them to embrace available jobs in the informal sector,” said Arama.
“At this difficult moment of sorrow, our hearts and prayers go to his family, friends and constituents. May the Almighty God rest his soul in eternal peace,” Mr Arama said.
Currently the County Assembly has suspended physical sessions because of Covid-19. Closure follows a surge in the number of infections in the county. Meetings are being held virtually.
Speaker Kairu said the decision was a precautionary measure. He said assembly staff and MCAs will be tested for Covid-19 before physical meetings resume.
Operations have already been scaled down and non-critical staff have been directed to work from home.
“I am aware of the enormous workload in our trays and of the constitutional responsibilities on your shoulders as legislators. But these must be weighed against the well-being of our staff, yourselves and the wider society,” Kairu said.
“We as a county have been hard hit by the disease. Friends, voters, colleagues and others have succumbed,” the speaker said.
Nakuru county has been among the counties with the highest numbers of new Covid-19 infections.
By Anne Mwale