Kitui West MP Francis Nyenze, who succumbed to colon cancer on Wednesday, had resiliently fought the disease for close to a decade.
In the days leading up to his death that occurred at 7.50am Wednesday, there were times he could ask his wife Edith to “release” him, saying his time had come.
“He would tell me, ‘Please release me, I’m ready. I’ve served the people, I’m right with God, and I’m ready to go.’ I would not release him. I would encourage him,” Mrs Nyenze recounted
She said that when she left him at the Nairobi Hospital on Tuesday night, he was strong enough to feed himself and he could even struggle to walk.
She, however, sensed a difference in the way he bade her farewell.
‘BYE WAS DIFFERENT’
“The ‘bye’ was different from the way he says it other times. But before then, I’d prayed for him and told him I’m leaving him in the hands of God. But I did not mean to release him,” said a sorrowful Mrs Nyenze.
A former Environment, Heritage and Sports minister during the Kanu era, Mr Nyenze, 60, successfully defended his Kitui West seat on a Wiper Democratic Movement party ticket in the August 8 General Election.
He touched off a political firestorm in Ukambani when he and former Kitui Senator David Musila endorsed the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mr Nyenze is survived by his wife Edith, with whom they have a son and two daughters; Erick (30), Ruth (26) and Grace (23).
Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua, a brother-in-law to Mr Nyenze, said the fallen lawmaker’s cancer treatment regime had caused his lungs to weaken.
As a result, he contracted pneumonia during the campaigns ahead of the August elections.
“The lungs had been really compromised. So, he had difficulties breathing,” he said.