Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto sent their condolences to the family of the late Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji.
Raila mourned him as a dedicated patriot and a humble servant whose ‘last great public passion being the Building Bridges Initiative.’
The President eulogised the veteran politician as a dependable Kenyan leader and patriot while Ruto noted that Haji was a gifted politician, modest yet strategic schemer with ground-breaking mediation skills.
Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji is dead.
A family member confirmed that the Senator died while receiving treatment at Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi at 5 a.m.
The lawmaker fell ill in September 2020 and underwent surgery at the same institution that lasted four hours.
It was reported that Haji slipped and dislocated his hip at his home in Garissa.
He served as the chair of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Taskforce after being appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Haji has left eight children including Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji and Abdul Haji, a businessman. At the time of his passing, the lawmaker was 80 years old.
He had been flown to Turkey for treatment but recently returned to the country and was admitted at the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi.
Haji’s public service started in the Provincial Administration in 1960 as a District Officer where he rose through the ranks to serve as Provincial Commissioner between 1970 and 1997.
In 1998, he received his first nomination to serve in the National Assembly and was later elected on Kenya African National Union (KANU) party ticket. Haji also served in various capacities including as an Assistant Minister in the Office of the President.
In January 2008, Haji was appointed to serve as the Minister of Defence where he spearheaded dialogue with the government of Somalia to fight al Shabaab.
He was also appointed as the acting Minister of Internal Security and Provincial Affairs after the death of George Saitoti.
Until his death, Yusuf served as the Chairman of the Senate Security and Foreign Relations Committee.