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Kabuchai MP James Lusweti dies in Nairobi

Friday December 04 2020

The second-term Ford-Kenya party MP had been suffering from arthritis and gout for several years.

File | Nation Media Group

IN SUMMARY

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Kabuchai Member of Parliament James Mukwe Lusweti died at a hospital in Nairobi on Friday afternoon after a long illness.

The second-term Ford-Kenya party MP had been suffering from arthritis and gout since 1998, with his condition worsening since March.

In July, the MP was flown to Nairobi for medication after becoming seriously ill. Before that, he had spent a week at Bungoma West Hospital in Kanduyi.

A source close to the MP told the Nation that he was flown to Nairobi on Thursday for a regular check-up but developed breathing problems.

He was rushed to Nairobi Hospital and admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), where he died.

"Committed leader"

Mr Lusweti became a parliamentarian in 2013 after serving three terms as a councilor. He had also worked at the Postal Corporation of Kenya.

Several leaders from Bungoma County eulogised the lawmaker as a dedicated and committed leader who transformed Kabuchai

Bungoma Senator and Ford-Kenya leader Moses Wetang'ula described the MP as a loyal, dedicated and committed member of the party, who worked hard to uplift the lives of Kabuchai electorates.

Mr Wetang'ula said Mr Lusweti supported him throughout his political career.

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Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa, who was Mr Lusweti's neighbour, said he has left a gap that will be difficult to fill.

Mt Elgon MP Fred Kapondi said the MP's death was a big blow to Bungoma and promised the family fitting send-off.

President’s message

In his condolence message, President Uhuru Kenyatta described Mr Lusweti as a reserved but adept grassroots politician whose community projects helped uplift many families in Kabuchai and the greater Bungoma County from abject poverty.

"It is unfortunate we have lost a very effective leader and accomplished grassroots mobiliser whose development-conscious politics shall be dearly missed by the people of Kabuchai and the entire nation,” he said.

"I remember Hon Mukwe as a man of few words who let his transformative work speak for him.”

President Kenyatta further noted that Mr Lusweti was one of the legislators in whose constituency public funds were properly utilised.

“He will be remembered for the many transformative development projects successfully delivered in Kabuchai during his time and for the proper utilisation of public resources to deliver services," he said.

Several school heads from Kabuchai said Mr Lusweti was the people's servant and that he focused on education, improving infrastructure in schools across the constituency.

"We have been dealt a big blow. He had started construction projects in our school, setting up an abolition block, classrooms and an administration block," said the Sichei Secondary School principal Rose Nafula.

Mr Lusweti's death comes barely a month after that of Matungu MP Justus Murunga, who will be buried on Saturday.

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