Former President Daniel Arap Moi has sent his a message of condolence to President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenyans and the Maasai community following the death of Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery.
In his message, Mr Moi on Saturday said he learnt of the death of Nkaissery with shock and disbelief.
He described Nkaissery as a man who served this country with exceptional energy and dedication.
“The cruel hand of death has robbed the country one of her most illustrious sons,” he said.
Chief Justice David Maraga also sent his condolence message, saying he learnt with great shock the death of Nkaissery.
“On behalf of my family and the entire Judiciary, I wish to express our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends, and indeed the people of Kenya, for this great loss,” Justice Maraga said in a statement.
“We are grateful for the service he rendered to this country in a career spanning close to half a century, first as a distinguished military officer and later as a political leader and Cabinet Secretary."
National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader Raila Odinga said Nkaissery’s death is a huge loss for Kenya and for the Maasai people and mourned him as a man who worked in the security docket with unparalleled commitment.
Mr Odinga paid a glowing tribute to Nkaissery and the role he played in ensuring a secure Kenya.
“He applied himself to all aspects of our security with an unparalleled commitment. Whenever duty called, he was there in an instant. He brought this commitment to the security docket after taking it over at a time the country was facing immense security challenges. He left a huge mark,” said Mr Odinga in a statement.
Choosing to overlook Nkaissery’s desertion of his opposition party ODM to work with the government once he was appointed as a minister in 2014, Mr Odinga said the fallen cabinet secretary was big force in Maasai politics.
“He was a political giant in a region that has produced many, and his loss will be felt for years to come. I offer my deepest-felt condolences to his family and loved ones,” said Mr Odinga.
“The entire Nasa community is also grief-stricken and we all wish to send our joint condolences to the family and the Kenyan nation.”
One of the areas where Mr Odinga applauded Nkaissery is the mopping up of small arms.
“Despite his knowledge and mastery of battleground arsenals, it was the issue of the elimination of small arms that was his foremost priority, which are the principal source of the violence that has periodically ravaged our nation for far too long. He religiously attended every national, regional or international forum where the elimination of this scourge was discussed,” stated Mr Odinga.
“Nkaissery was also a keen promoter of sports, especially soccer and athletics, believing that sports were gateway to health and that Kenyans needed to participate more,” he added.
The Nasa presidential candidate also described Nkaissery as “one of the great soldiers of our time”.
“All of us are still struggling to understand this totally unexpected tragedy,” said Mr Odinga.
Nasa co-principal Moses Wetang'ula described Nkaissery as “a statesman, a patriot, a respected leader, a neighbour and my good personal friend.”
“Nkaissery was a man with a good heart, he never carried grudges and made friends across the political divide with ease.” He said.
He said the fallen CS would be remembered for his contribution in restoring security in the country after taking over the Interior Ministry from Hon Joseph ole Lenku.
“As a county, we have lost one of the most illustrious soldiers who even at his advanced age, still worked long days and nights to ensure that we are all safe,” he said.
Here is what other leaders had to say about the late Nkaissery:
Mr Gilbert Kabage, Chairman, Rift Valley Council of Elders
“We are shocked by the sudden death of interior CS Joseph Nkaiseri.
Today is a very sad day for Kenya as we have lost a hardworking and dedicated leader.
On behalf of the Rift Valley Council of Elders,. I wish to pass my heartfelt condolences to the family of General Nkaiseri. It is the decision of the Almighty God which we all must accept.”
Mr Harsama Kello, Kajiado County Commissioner
“A devastating loss indeed. To me he was more of a family friend than a boss. I interacted freely with him beyond the call of duty for the last 8 years as a Ppublic administrator in Kajiado County. This interaction has significantly enriched my experience.
He had called me at around 7.30pm last night, saying he would pick me in Kajiado on our way to a fundraiser in Ngatataek.
My deepest condolences to his family”.
Kuresoi South MP Zakayo Cheruiyot, former Internal Security PS.
“I have learned with shock and sadness of the sudden death of Maj (rtd) Nkaisserry .
He served the Nation with commmitment.
His death comes at the time Kenya needs a sober mind in charge of security and administration. I send to his family my sincere condolences.”
Kisii County Governor James Ongwae
“It's with deep shock that I have learnt of the untimely passing on of Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaiserry.
My heart goes out to his family, relatives and friends. This country has lost a great leader. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”
Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo
“A very tragic loss 4Kenya, especially at this most critical time in our country.
General Nkaissery was a true Kenyan bulwark, a firm and dependable hand in managing the intricacies of national security.
I'll dearly miss him, especially his firmness and decisiveness.
My last official engagement with him was in PAC when we were discussing some security procurements in his docket. Rest in peace my dear brother.”
By Elvis Ondieki, Eric Matara, Dave Opiyo, Openda, Joseph Ngunjiri, Ruth Mbula, Magati Obebo and Rushidie Oudia.