Nairobi — Former Cabinet Minister and politician from Nyeri County, Waruru Kanja, is dead.
Kanja was a former freedom fighter who was jailed by the colonial British government for his part in the Mau Mau rebellion, and served in both President Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi's regimes.
Leaders joined in mourning the Nyeri politician with President Uhuru Kenyatta describing him as a true son of Kenya and a patriot, who contributed immensely to the struggle for the country's independence.
"He was one of the towering politicians to have emerged from Central Kenya, but who was a true nationalist at heart and in action."
"Indeed, Kanja's name will be remembered alongside other icons of Kenya's freedom struggle who were ready to lay down their lives for the sake of our country's independence," President Kenyatta said.
He said the late Kanja's legacy and commitment to a free society - where people go about doing their business to improve the welfare of ordinary people - will always remain etched in Kenyans' minds.
As Kenya marks the 50th anniversary of its independence, the Head of State said the new crop of leaders in the country should emulate the doyen of independence struggle and focus on politics of inclusion that will consolidate national unity.
"To everyone who knew him and had the opportunity to work with him, the late Kanja was well respected as a humble, kind and courageous man who had a singular sense of duty to his family, his community and the nation at large.
"His quest for inclusive growth and equitable development are some of the hallmarks of his life that we must continue to abide by."
On his part, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga said Kenya had lost another great son, a great fighter who stood up for the truth no matter the consequences.
"I was with Mr Kanja in hospital about a month ago, and I can testify that he did well as a leader and he remained true to his beliefs and must have died a free man, at peace with his conscience because he did and said all the right things that Kenya needed in its formative years."