In Summary
  • It did not matter one’s position as leaders, ordinary citizens, senior county employees, and traders fought back tears overwhelmed by grief.

  • Some county staff fainted and received first aid from security and disaster management unit officers during the prayer event at the county headquarters in Sotik.

  • Head of the African Gospel Church in Kenya, Bishop Robert Langat, revealed that two hours before her death, he had prayed with her at her hospital bed.

Tears flowed freely, people fainted, others were too shocked to talk as news of the death of Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso spread at the county headquarters on Monday afternoon.

It did not matter one’s position as leaders, ordinary citizens, senior county employees, and traders fought back tears overwhelmed by grief.

Some county staff fainted and received first aid from security and disaster management unit officers during the prayer event at the county headquarters in Sotik.

Speaker of the County Assembly Shadrack Rotich could not fight back his tears during a press briefing, when the leaders had finally marshalled the energy to speak.

“It is so sad that Dr Laboso could not live to see through her manifesto which she had started to implement in the two years she has been in office,” said Mr Rotich.

Residents of Bomet Town mourn in disbelief the death of Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso on July 29, 2019. They have called on the government to set up a modern oncology unit for cancer victims. PHOTO | JOHN NJOROGE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

He said that the Bomet Executive and Legislature did not have friction between them as witnessed elsewhere as the former governor would consult with the members of the County Assembly and its leadership.

He added that the succession plan was clear and did not foresee any differences arising.

“With the death of Dr Laboso, we do not expect any conflict with the Executive as there is a clear succession plan that the law provides in the event of such an eventuality. We will stick to guidelines provided for by the law,” said Mr Rotich.

BIG LOSS

Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) party leader and former Bomet governor Isaac Ruto said it was unfortunate that Dr Laboso, who succeeded him in the 2017 general election had not lived to implement her development agenda.

“I have known Dr Laboso and her family from the early 1980s, time within which we have worked closely several matters. I worked with the former governor at Egerton University and at the National Assembly when she served as Sotik MP and I was Chepalungu MP,” Mr Ruto said.

“Her death is very devastating. It is a terrible blow and a big loss not only for Bomet but the entire country at large. May God give the family the fortitude to bear the loss,” he added.

TRAILBRAZER

Head of the African Gospel Church in Kenya, Bishop Robert Langat, described Dr Laboso as a trailblazer.

He revealed that two hours before her death, he had prayed with her at her hospital bed.

“She was a trailblazer and has excelled and made it to where very few women in this country have done.

“A great leader of our county and the country has rested in the Lord. She was truly a great friend and a member of the AGC who gave her best in service,” said bishop Langat.

Shocked residents of Silibwet in Bomet County mourn their governor Joyce Laboso on July 29, 2019. PHOTO | JOHN NJOROGE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary-General Wilson Sossion and Bomet Knut executive secretary Malel Langat said Dr Laboso’s death dealt a major blow to women leadership in the country.

Prayers at the Monday evening event were led by Reverend Felix Korir of the African Gospel Church.

The function was attended County Secretary Mrs Evalyne Rono, County Executive Committee members Justus Maina, Joseph Sitonik, Julius Tuwei, and Benard Ngeno, among other county employees.