Despite 2022 being a memorable year, it equally had its low moments, some of which united Kenyans in grief.
Here are some notable Kenyans who passed away in 2022.
HE Mwai Kibaki
Friday, April 22, was one of the darkest days in the country after Kenya lost its third President, Emilio Mwai Kibaki.
Immediate family members of Kenya’s third president Mwai Kibaki during his state burial in Othaya, Nyeri on April 30, 2022.
Former President Uhuru Kenyatta broke the news at State House Nairobi, declaring one week of national mourning.
“The nation will observe a period of national mourning from today until sunset on the day the President (Rtd) will be buried. May his memory be observed and example emulated,” Uhuru remarked.
Kibaki was accorded a state funeral, with Kenyans allowed to pay their last respects at Parliament buildings.
He was buried in his Othaya home, next to his wife, the late Mama Lucy Kibaki, with the military granting him a 19-gun salute.
Lawyer Paul Gicheru, a suspect at the International Criminal Court (ICC), died at his Karen home on September 26.
Gicheru had been charged with witness interference and awaited a ruling before he passed away.
The late lawyer was interred on Thursday, October 6, at his farm in Bahati, Nakuru.
“The pattern of mysterious and unexplained deaths is extremely disturbing. We call upon the international investigative agencies, including Interpol, to lead the investigation,” Azimio leader Raila Odinga, agitated for a probe into the lawyer’s demise.
Lawyer Paul Gicheru during the opening of his case on Tuesday, February 15, 2022
On October 14, ICC announced that it had terminated the case against the lawyer.
Charles Njonjo and Richard Leakey
Kenya was hit twice at the start of 2022 with the deaths of former Attorney General Charles Njonjo and renowned conservationist Richard Leakey on January 2.
While announcing Njonjo’s death, former President Uhuru Kenyatta indicated that the veteran lawyer was the last surviving member of his father, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s, cabinet.
“Njonjo passed away peacefully at 5 am this morning at the age of 101 years. His passing is a big blow to all owing to his leading role in the founding of the Kenyan nation at independence,” Uhuru eulogised.
On the other hand, he lauded Leakey, 77, for his contributions to public service and conservation.
Wilfred Olwenya Maina
Kenya’s entertainment industry suffered a great blow in 2022 following the death of renowned actor Wilfred Olwenya, popularly known by his stage name, Oti.
The star of the locally produced film, Nairobi Half Life, was confirmed dead at a Nairobi hospital on July 4 after he collapsed at his home.
A post-mortem conducted on his body revealed that the actor succumbed to Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a heart condition characterised by the thickening of the heart muscles.
His former colleague at Radio Africa group, Maina Kageni, mourned his untimely demise.
“We’ll miss you here, one of the very best voices in East Africa. Great actor, with superb talent! What a game-changer you were, big boss! Rest In Peace,” Kageni eulogised.
Former Ainabkoi MP William Chepkut collapsed and died in his Nairobi home on October 8.
According to his family, Chepkut had been ill for a while and was in and out of the hospital. In 2021, he was hospitalised after falling down a flight of stairs at a city hotel.
“I fainted and was rushed to the hospital and was discharged. I took it lightly and returned home but suffered two other accidents that totally affected me,” Chepkut narrated after the incident.
His eldest son, Chirchir Chepkut, revealed that his father’s health deteriorated, and he was in insurmountable pain in his last days.
Transport CS, Kipchumba Murkomen, visits former Ainabkoi MP, William Chepkut, in hospital in July 2021
Stanley Munga Githunguri
Stanley Githunguri died at a Nairobi hospital on November 30, aged 77.
Githunguri’s family did not disclose the cause of death and requested privacy while mourning their loved one.
President William Ruto eulogised the former Kiambaa Member of Parliament as an astute businessman.
While condoling with his family, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua noted that Githunguri mentored him into an entrepreneur.
The former banker-turned-politician disrupted Kenya’s real estate industry and is famous for owning the Lilian Towers along University Way and Ridgeways Mall along Kiambu road.
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