George Kebaso and Alvin Mwangi @PeopleDailyKe
Leaders yesterday poured their condolences to family, friends and constituents of Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso following news of her death. They eulogised her as a bold woman who served the country diligently.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga led leaders in mourning Laboso after she succumbed to cancer at the Nairobi Hospital.
The Head of State termed “shocking” the sudden death of the governor, describing her as an icon of leadership.
Passion for education
“I have received the sad news with utter disbelief. Dr Laboso was an icon of women leadership in our country. May God grant the family, residents of Bomet and all Kenyans the fortitude to bear the loss,” he said.
He said as a scholar who transitioned into political leadership, Laboso will be remembered for her passion for education especially of the girlchild.
“The cruel hand of death has robbed our nation of a bold and illustrious leader. As we mourn her, let us also remember to celebrate her life,” said the President.“Her inspirational life will remain a great legacy.”
Ruto described the governor as a hardworking woman who persevered silently the pain occasioned by the disease. The DP said the government would ensure Laboso gets a befitting send-off.
“She put on a brave face as she fought cancer and many did not know what she was going through for a long time. She exemplified the strength of a woman: gentle yet firm, intense, hardworking, resilient and pragmatic. She was an iconic leader, who focused and delivered on her constituents’ interests,” he said.
Ruto also revealed that he had visited Laboso in hospital on Sunday. “We had a long chat about what was going on in Bomet and whether she could go home. We told her everything was under control,” said the DP.
He said the situation of cancer in the country requires national rethinking to address its impact. He said death had robbed the country of a courageous, hardworking, progressive woman leader.
Raila termed Laboso’s death a blow to devolution, describing her as a dedicated public servant.
“My prayers are with her family and the people of Bomet,” said the former PM even as he urged Kenyans to go for early cancer screening.
Council of Governor’s chair Wycliffe Oparanya said the country had been robbed of a great leader.
Senate Speaker, Ken Lusaka said: “It is a sad moment for us. It is high time for the two Houses of Parliament to push legislation on how we take care of cancer patients here in the country. This needs to happen immediately.”
Other legislators and senior government officials also eulogised Laboso, saying her legacy would live on.