BY RUTH MBULA
Kenya’s former finance minister Simeon Nyachae has died at the age of 88.
The businessman, politician, former general secretary and former head of the public service died on Monday February 1st in Nairobi hospital, where he was being treated for an unknown illness.
His body is currently in the Lee Funeral Home in the capital, Nairobi.
Nyachae was born on February 6, 1932 in the village of Nyosia in Nyaribari in Kisii in western Kenya, the son of the chief of the colonial era, Musa Nyandusi, and trained as a public administrator in Great Britain.
From a district official in Kangundo, Machakos, he rose to the position of district commissioner at the time of Kenya’s independence in 1963, before serving as provincial commissioner between 1965 and 1979.
He later served as general secretary and head of public service under former presidents Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel Arap Moi.
The former minister leaves behind a vast economic empire with interests in manufacturing, transport, real estate, banking and large-scale agriculture.
In 1992 Nyachae left the civil service to join politics and was elected MP for the Nyaribari Chache, a seat he held in successive elections until he was defeated in 2007.
President Moi made him Minister of Agriculture and later Minister of Finance.
After quarreling with Moi in 1999, he was transferred to the less powerful Ministry of Commerce.