Ex-minister Soita Shitanda dies in Nairobi - Daily Nation

Ex-minister Soita Shitanda dies in Nairobi

Tuesday May 24 2016

Former Housing Minister Soita Shitanda during a media breakfast meeting in Nairobi Hotel on September 30, 2009. He died on May 24, 2016 at the Nairobi hospital. FILE PHOTO | WILLIAM OERI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Former Housing Minister Soita Shitanda during a media breakfast meeting in Nairobi Hotel on September 30, 2009. He died on May 24, 2016 at the Nairobi hospital. FILE PHOTO | WILLIAM OERI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PETER LEFTIE
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Former Housing Minister and Malava MP Peter Soita Shitanda is dead.

The late Mr Shitanda died at 1.30 pm on Tuesday while receiving treatment at Nairobi hospital where he had been admitted for the last three weeks.

His close associate, Lugari MP Ayub Savula, confirmed Mr Shitanda’s death.

“It is true we have lost mheshimiwa. He passed on at 1.30 pm today (Tuesday) while receiving treatment at the Nairobi Hospital,” said the MP.

At the time of his death, the late Shitanda was serving as the Chairman of the board of the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC).

His death comes only three days after the burial of his elder brother, Mr Walucho Shitanda at their Butali home in Malava constituency.

The late MP was conspicuously missing at the burial as he was indisposed. He was represented at the burial by Mr Savula.

According to Mr Savula, the late Shitanda had been suffering from diabetes for over two years.

He had also underwent kidney transplant at a hospital in India in recent months.

Former Housing minister Soita Shitanda

Former Housing minister Soita Shitanda (centre), his son Sidney, daughter Shirley (left) and his wife Betty at Aga Khan hospital on June 21, 2009 where he had been admitted after his sugar level went down. FILE PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

“He has been diabetic. Three weeks ago, he suffered a sharp rise in blood sugar level and was rushed to hospital. The doctors managed to bring down the sugar levels but they later discovered that he was also suffering from a bout of pneumonia. At the time of his death, he had left the Intensive Care Unit and was being treated at the general ward,” said the Lugari MP.

“I spoke to him on his wife’s phone on Saturday night and he assured me he was getting better and would be discharged soon. Yesterday I got a message from his personal assistant saying that he was due for discharge this Friday, only to get another message a few hours later that he has passed on,” Mr Savula said.

Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi conveyed his message of condolence to the bereaved family and Malava constituents describing the late Shitanda as a “great son and leader.”

“He was a brother and confidante. The Luhya have lost a great son and leader,” he said while at the Lee Funeral Home to view the body.

Mr Shitanda was first elected to Parliament to represent Malava constituency in 1997 on a Ford Kenya ticket after defeating former health Minister, the late Joshua Angatia.

He successfully defended his seat on a Narc ticket during the 2002 general election. He was appointed Housing Minister during a cabinet reshuffle in 2005 by then President Mwai Kibaki.

Come 2007 and Mr Shitanda again retained his seat, this time on a New Ford Kenya ticket, one of the parties then allied to the Party of National Unity (PNU).

He was re-appointed Housing Minister after the disputed poll, a post he held until the 2013 general election.

During that election, Mr Shitanda contested the Kakamega governor’s seat on a New Ford Kenya ticket after losing out on the United Democratic Forum (UDF) ticket. He however lost to the ODM candidate Mr Wycliffe Oparanya.