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BY CORRESPONDENT,KISUMU,3RD AUG 2019-Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso was buried in her matrimonial home in Koru, Kisumu County on Saturday as leaders who attended urged government to declare cancer to a national disaster
“We need to have a very sober conversation about our health system even as we call upon you to consider declaring cancer a national disaster,” said Wycliffe Oparanya, the Chairman of the Council of Governors.
Deputy President William Ruto said cancer is the “most dangerous disease we have today (Saturday).”
“The government is committed to do the best in managing this crisis, we are equipping the hospitals that is why in every county today we have a cancer screening centre,” he said.
However President Kenyatta did not comment on the request by Oparanya to declare cancer a national disaster,but only mourned Laboso.
“I want to assure Laboso’s family that we will stand with them,” he said.
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga, said Kenya is losing too many people to cancer.
“We are burying too many people to cancer, we have buried more than ten people recently who have died of cancer,” he said, “even Ken Okoth was cremated today (Saturday) morning and he also died of cancer.
They were speaking at Laboso’s home in Fort Ternan, Koru in Kisumu County during her burial.
Laboso died of cancer on Monday, just two days after the death of Kibra MP Ken Okoth who also succumbed to cancer –both having been admitted to the Nairobi Hospital weeks after returning back to the country from India and France respectively where they had gone for treatment.
Others present were Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi and Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka and a host of other leaders.
“We must all admit that cancer is a serious issue in this country and there is much more than need to be done to help our people,” Musyoka said, describing Laboso as a strong leader.
Mudavadi said Laboso will be remembered for the leadership skills she displayed in all the positions she held.
Governors Anyang Nyong’o who represents the area said “We must do more in managing cancer in this country because this is a serious matter. We must invest more in proper facilities in our hospitals.”
Waiguru moved mourners when she spoke passionately about Laboso’s women empowerment initiatives in Bomet county.
“We were three female governors, and now with the departure of Laboso, we are two of us remaining,” she said, and urged the incoming Governor to choose a woman to deputise him.
Bomet Deputy Governor Hillary Barchok was set to be sworn in on Thursday to take over from Laboso.
Laboso was eulogised as a strong leader who always put the interests of her people ahead.
The burial followed two funeral services held in Nairobi on Thursday and Bomet on Friday.
Joyce’s mother-in-law Dorcas Omoro said she will always remember her as her daughter, “because she bonded so well with and was always so respectful to all of us.”
Aggrey Abonyo, Laboso’s brother-in-law described her as a great and resilient woman leader not only in Bomet but in the country.
Laboso leaves behind a widower Edwin Abonyo and four children who described her as a loving and adorable mother.