President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto on Monday joined Kenyans in mourning the death of Bomet governor Dr Joyce Laboso.
Kenyatta said the sudden death of Laboso was shocking and described the late governor as an icon of leadership in the country.
Dr. Laboso, 58, passed away on Monday at the Nairobi Hospital after succumbing to cancer. Her demise comes two weeks after she jetted back to the country after a medical trip to India and the Britain.
She was the first elected female elected governor of Bomet county.
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“I have received the sad news of the passing away of Bomet Governor Dr Joyce Laboso 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 big loss” said President Kenyatta.
Deputy President William Ruto said death had robbed the country of a as courageous, hardworking, progressive woman leader.
Addressing a presser, outside the Lee funeral home, Ruto said Laboso battled cancer adding that she was cheerful when he visited her on Sunday.
“On Sunday when I visited her she was conscious, 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 and what she need to do was give doctors an opportunity to take care of her” said the DP.
She said the government will work with her family to give a decent sendoff befitting a great leader.
ODM leader eulogised as Laboso as hard working public servant. “Laboso’s death is a blow to our system of devolved government. She was a dedicated public servant and when I recently visited her in hospital in London, I was encouraged that she was on path to full recovery. My prayers are with her family and the people of Bomet. Rest in Peace” he said.
Various leaders and Kenyans said it was time for the government to declare cancer as a national disaster as they shared glowing tributes to the first female Bomet governor.
“Cancer has robbed us again of a great leader, indeed, both levels of Government must now have a serious conversation on the prevention and treatment of cancer. We as the Council of Governors have lost a very brilliant leader who was the Chair of the Education Committee. Laboso was also the former Chair of the Finance and Economics Committee. She had passion and zeal to serve the people of Kenya having been a former member of ‘parliament for Sotik Constituency ” said Council of Governors.
Twitter was abuzz with condolence messages under the hashtag #RIPLaboso.