BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,20TH DEC,2020-Governors led by council chairman Wycliffe Oparanya have hailed their departed colleague Nyamira Governor John Nyagarama as an astute leader who was an extraordinary partner in strengthening devolution.
They described him as a development-oriented leader lauding his efforts to improve the tea sector in Kenya.
The Council of Governors on Sunday afternoon visited the family to pay tribute to the Governor who they described as a leader who had left a huge gap.
The death of the Governor, who is serving his second and last term in office, was confirmed Friday morning after days of speculation over the state of his health which was said to have deteriorated in recent days.
According to family sources, the late Governor passed on at 4 am Friday. He is said to have suffered a mild stroke with the underlying medical conditions, high blood pressure and diabetes, worsening his condition.
The governor was taken ill a fortnight ago and had been undergoing treatment for an undisclosed ailment at a Nairobi hospital.
He was diagnosed with a health complication two years ago that saw him spend over 2 months in the United States where he had sought medical attention.
The former secondary school teacher was re-elected into office on August 8, 2017, on an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) ticket, the same party through which he won the 2013 gubernatorial general election.
Nyagarama had also worked in the tea sector, which he joined in 1982 when he was employed as a management trainee at KTDA and rose through the ranks to a managerial position working in various tea factories.
He was among the team which oversaw the transition of the KTDA tea agency from a government institution, to a private company registered under the Companies Act.
He served as a KTDA national board member as from 1994 to 2013, as the chairman of Kenya Tea Packers Limited (KETEPA) from 1996 to 2002.
He started his formal education at Nyakemincha Primary School located in West Mugirango Constituency before joining Maseno School for his 0-Levels.
He did his A-Levels at Kisii School and joined the University of Nairobi from where he graduated with a Bachelor of Education in English and Literature in 1975.
Nyagarama will be accorded a state funeral.
Although the burial date is yet to be set, an ad-hoc committee tasked with preparations has been picked after consultations with leaders from the Gusii community.
Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and Kisii County Governor James Ongwae will head the committee that will steer the programme in liaison with the deceased family.