Ruto, Uhuru and Raila mourn Magoha as tributes pour in

Former Education CS George Magoha.

Former Education CS George Magoha shares a light moment with students from Moi Girls High School in Eldoret on August 26, 2022. 

Photo credit: File | PSCU

President William Ruto has mourned Prof George Magoha as a unique, gifted and great servant of Kenya, adding that he feels privileged to have known and worked with the former Education Cabinet Secretary.

"Prof Magoha is a towering giant of our time, a great man who stood tall in the academy, where he excelled in learning, teaching and research, as well as in administration," President Ruto said in a statement.

President William Ruto (right) and former Education CS George Magoha

President William Ruto (right) and former Education CS George Magoha at a past function in 2019. 

Photo credit: DPPS

"He led robust turnaround interventions at the University of Nairobi and the Kenya National Examinations Council. Throughout his tenure (as CS), he evinced a commitment to high standards in the public service and an uncompromising integrity," he added. 

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta eulogised Prof Magoha as a celebrated academician who leaves behind a strong legacy in public service.                   

"It is unfortunate and painful that we've lost my friend Prof George Magoha at a time when his family is mourning his brother," the former President said as he wished the family God's comfort during this difficult period of immense grief.

Azimio leader Raila Odinga also expressed his sadness at learning of Prof George Magoha's death, saying he will be remembered as a "dedicated public servant and distinguished medical doctor". 

"We will remember him for his incredible intellect, wit, and ability to inspire and challenge us to do our best. My condolences go out to his family and colleagues," the opposition leader said. 

Prof Magoha died at the Nairobi Hospital on Tuesday following a cardiac arrest. 

"Yes it is true. He is no more," his wife Dr Barbra Magoha told the Nation.

Dr Barbara Magoha, wife of George Magoha

Dr Barbara Magoha (centre), wife of late former Education CS George Magoha, at Lee Funeral Home on January 24, 2022.

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said Prof Magoha was known for his "independence of mind and fearlessness".

'Stickler for discipline'

ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo said he learnt of his death with shock.

"Prof Magoha will be remembered as a focussed professional in his field and a candid stickler for discipline and efficiency in institutional leadership and management. He will be missed."

Speaker Moses Wetang'ula said his death was a blow to the education sector.

"I have vivid memories of this great and tough scholar who had distinguished himself by his immense contribution to the education sector of our country.  He will be fondly remembered for his selfless service on impacting change in the education field while at the helm of the education ministry," he said.

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka mourned him as an "exceptional leader who will be greatly missed".

Former Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said he remembered his former colleague as very hard working and focused.

"He was always forthright and patriotic; he loved this country dearly. I have lost a true, sincere and very supportive comrade. Our thoughts and prayers are with his dear wife, son and entire family. May the Almighty God rest his soul in eternal peace."

'Midwifed CBC'

Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga said Prof Magoha will be remembered for "restoring examination sanctity in this country". 

"You mid-wifed the CBC despite the missteps, you were bold enough to fly with it. I had the singular privilege of working with you when I served as Chairman Education Committee of The Council of Governors. Many may not have loved your brusque way of addressing issues but you compensated for this with the results you achieved," he said.

"As a successful Vice Chancellor of the University of Nairobi, you did your best. A world-class surgeon, you did your call of service. At 71, you have lived a rich and fruitful life. Once again, thank you for giving us back our examination worthiness. Rest in eternal peace," he added. 

Here's how other public figures paid tribute to Prof Magoha: