Kenya’s former ambassador to Netherlands Lawrence Lenayapa passes on

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 1 Mar, 2024 09:49 | 2 mins read
Lawrence Lenayapa
Lawrence Lenayapa. PHOTO/@rigathi/X

Kenya's former ambassador to the Netherlands Lawrence Lenayapa has died aged 59 years.

His death was confirmed by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua who termed him as a humble family man and a dedicated public servant.

"I am saddened by the news of the passing on of Lawrence Lenayapa, my former colleague and close Family friend. The country has lost a dedicated Public Servant, who served his Motherland with distinction. I am saddened to lose a close family friend and confidant," Gachagua said.

In his last assignment, Lenayapa served as Kenya's ambassador to the Netherlands in 2018 where he also served as the Permanent Representative of Kenya to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and leader of Kenya’s delegation to other International Organizations in the Netherlands.

Between 2013 and 2018, he served as the State House Comptroller during the reign of former President Uhuru Kenyatta.

He also worked as a District Commissioner in Baringo and Kiambu and also previously served as the Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources.

"Lawrence and I served in the former Provincial Administration; we were, indeed, in the same detail during our Paramilitary Training at APTC in 1990. A humble family man, Lawrence rose through the ranks from a District Officer to a District Commissioner, Government Printer, Permanent Secretary, and Comptroller of State House. His last tour of duty found him in the Netherlands as our Nation's Ambassador," Gachagua stated.

In his condolence message, former President Uhuru Kenyatta praised Lenayapa as a dedicated career civil servant who carried out his duties with unwavering commitment.

Uhuru said while at State House, Lenayapa oversaw the implementation of various development projects, in addition to serving as the general administrator for all State Houses and Lodges across the country.

Lawrence Lenayapa's memorable moment

Lenayapa is remembered for faulting the process of shortlisting candidates for the position of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

On July 13, 2020, while serving as Kenya's ambassador to the Netherlands, Lawrence Lenayapa rejected the four candidates shortlisted for the prosecutor.

Lenayapa argued that the recruitment process is skewed to favour one applicant and that the shortlist favours candidates from outside Africa.

In a letter to the ICC, Ambassador Lenayapa said that the shortlist denied member states the opportunity to "identify, through open and transparent consultations, a consensus candidate."

“The Republic of Kenya, therefore, rejects the shortlist contained in the Report of the Committee on the Election of the Prosecutor and calls for a reconsideration of all the applicants for the position and in the alternative encourage States Parties to commence nomination of candidates that can be presented for election during the upcoming Assembly of States Parties,” Lenayapa said in the letter.

Among those shortlisted are Irishman Fergal Gaynor and Morris Anyah (American) who represented victims of the post-election violence in Kenya as well as Susan Okalany (Uganda), who was a justice of the High Court of Uganda and a judge in the International Criminal Division, and Richard Roy (Canada).

Gaynor, who was the victims’ representative when the ICC withdrew crimes against President Uhuru Kenyatta, was the Reserve International Co-prosecutor at the extraordinary chambers in the courts of Cambodia, while Anyah, who was also representing victims, quit due to the decision by the trial judges to limit victim representation at the Kenya case trial.

Anyah also represented former Liberian President Charles Taylor at his war crimes trial.

In his letter, Lenayapa said that the names of the candidates as presented by the Committee on the Election of the Prosecutor could not enable the realisation of the desired consensus.

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