President Uhuru Kenyatta joined Kenyans to mourn Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, noting that his death was a great loss country owing to his great contributions to the national development agenda.
Collymore, 61, succumbed to cancer at his home on Monday morning.
“It is with deep sadness that I have this morning received news of the death of Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore after years of battling cancer. As a country, we've lost a distinguished corporate leader whose contribution to our national wellbeing will be missed,” the President said.
In December 2018, Mr Kenyatta appointed Collymore a member of the Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Board for a three-year term.
Deputy President William Ruto praised Collymore as a "distinguished corporate titan" whose leadership helped the telco scale new height.
"Collymore was exemplary, brilliant and courageous, especially in the manner he battled cancer. Condolences to his family, colleagues and friends. Rest In Peace," said DP Ruto.
In May this year, Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki appointed Collymore to the National Cancer Institute board.
Other leaders and Kenyans received with shock the sad news and took to social media to express their condolences to Collymore’s family.
Collymore has been at the helm of the telco giant since November 2010 and has steered Safaricom to new heights with the firm being the most profitable company in the country.
"Our beloved CEO @bobcollymore has passed. We extend our deepest condolences to his family, our colleagues, partners and the nation at large," tweeted Safaricom announcing his death.
"My condolences go out to the friends and family of Mr Bob Collymore as well as the entire Safaricom fraternity. Bob served our country with dedication and sustained us as a communication hub in Africa. May his soul rest in eternal peace," said former prime minister Raila Odinga.
"Go well my friend, Bob Collymore. History will remember you as a great, selfless and devoted leader and friend to this country," Bitange Ndemo, former ICT PS, said.
“During his time, the support for devolution conference and county connectivity grew in leaps. It is also during his time that Safaricom grew its partnership with county governments offering different solutions boosting public private partnerships that have revolutionized how county governments work,” observed Kakamega Governor and Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya.
"Shocked and sad to learn of the departure of Bob Collymore from this world. It really breaks my heart. He was a wonderful friend, brilliant strategist and a fighter. I really thought he would pull through. My condolences to his family and entire Safaricom team. Sad day," said Machakos Governor Dr Alfred Mutua.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing on of Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore. His leadership at the most successful company in Kenya will greatly be missed. My condolences go out his family and the entire Safaricom fraternity. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” wrote Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho.
Kisumu Governor Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o credited Collymore with making cancer treatment more accessible in the country. “Bob had become an integral face of the fight to make cancer management accessible to all,” he said.
"Life is love and death is sorrow. We mourn you and celebrate life well lived and a great mind in rest. May you find peace Bob Collymore, Kenya will not forget. Rip Bob Collymore," said Wairimu Wanjiru.
"Somebody tell me this is Just rumours. We've lost a great Man. A great Loss to @SafaricomPLC," tweeted Onsongo Onditi.
"Rest in Peace Bob Collymore. A brilliant mind has left the world," said Alex Ngare.
Collymore had earlier indicated he would leave his post as Safaricom CEO in August.
Later, on May 23, he said his contract with Safaricom was extended by a year to compensate for the time he was away on medical leave. He was scheduled to leave the telco in 2020.
"I am not going anywhere. I will be here for another one year till 2020," Mr Collymore was quoted saying at the time.