Kenyans, especially constituents of Juja, were on Monday evening left in shock after learning about the death of area MP Francis Munyua Waititu who served them from 2013 under the Jubilee ticket.
The MP has been seeking cancer treatment for about three years until yesterday when he succumbed to the disease.
The legislator’s death was confirmed by the Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi, who described him as a progressive lawmaker.
“He was consistent in introducing pieces of legislation geared towards the improvement of the agricultural sector, and ease of doing business in Kenya. It is indeed saddening that we have lost him, just a few days after we lost two other lawmakers,” said Muturi.
His wife Susan Munyua also disclosed his death to the public although she didn’t give more details.
“It with deep sorrow that we announce the passing on of our loving dad Hon. Francis Munyua Waititu. May his soul rest in eternal peace and may God grant him the divine grace to accept his will,” announced Mrs. Munyua.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has mourned him as progressive, trusted and devoted leader.
Deputy president William Ruto said Waititu alias “Wakapee” was a principled, hardworking and respected leader who was above party politics.
“He was selfless, bold and gifted with an affable personality. We will miss his enterprising servant leadership that transformed many lives,” he expressed.
His former PA Gerald Kagumo told the media that the MP had been seeking treatment at MP Shah hospital for the last two weeks.
“What I can say so far is that the MP has been at MP Shah hospital for the last two weeks, the rest we can wait for the family to disclose to the public,” he said.
The MP in 2018 publicly told the media that he was battling brain cancer.
He had travelled to India to seek treatment and was cleared of the disease, only left with chemo sessions within the country.
A reliable source told Opera News that the situation worsened last year where he couldn’t do much of the constituency job and the CDF manager among other staffs helped in the implementation of the projects.
“The MP has been sick and much of the work was left out to the CDF staffs and at one-time Juja was number 6 across the Country in terms management,“ the source said.
In 2016, he lost his sister, Cecelia Wambui,60, to liver cancer and this prompted him (Wakapee) to get his mother screened for the disease and to the family’s surprise, she was diagnosed with stage two brain cancer.
He wasn’t also lucky as he was also diagnosed with stage 2 brain cancer in 2017.
Upon returning from India after a successful brain cancer operation, Wakapee said that plans were in top gear to actualize a partnership between the Government of Kenya, the County Government of Kiambu, doctors from India and the local private businessman who had donated the land worth over Ksh 9 billion to ensure a cancer treatment cancer was builtbin Kiambu County near Kuraiha primary school.
“So many people are suffering in silence from cancer. Nobody wants to talk about it because of the stigma behind it. In India, I met 9,000 cancer patients from Kenya alone. Among them were 9 of my fellow MPs and 4 Senators. The cancer scourge is enormous and we can no longer afford to bury our heads in the sand. We must get out and talk about it,” he said.
Why he was nicknamed “Wakapee”
During his homecoming rally from India, the MP narrated the origin of his nickname Wakapee which he had accepted and always proud of.
The MP earned the moniker Wakapee which means “I can pay”. People nicknamed him Wakupay that later transformed to Wakapee.
“Long time ago I used to drink alcohol a lot and whenever I got drunk I used to shout, I will pay and that’s how I got nicknamed Wakapee,” he once told his constituents.
He said that the nickname helped him in 2013 to win a parliamentary seat that was highly contested.
Connection with Kenyatta Family
The late MP had earlier told the public that he would not contest for the elective seat come 2022 due to his health complications.
The MP had disclosed that the Kenyatta family had employed him before he became an MP noting their relationship was good.
“I will not contest in 2022 after I retire, I will approach President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mama Ngina Kenyatta and demand my job back as a manager,” Munyua once told his constituents.
From 1996 to 2013, Francis Munyua Waititu worked as group general manager in Muiri Coffee Estate, Thika; Ngungugu Farm, Gatundu; Sunflower Farm, Machakos; and Saramwai Estate, Nyeri while also, he had worked in several other farms such as Iganjo Farm Ruiru Juja in 1983 to 1984.
According to nominated senator Isaac Mwaura, the late MP had worked at Kenya caners now known as Delmonte as a supervisor.
Parliamentary life and committee he shared
At the 11th parliament, Francis Munyua was in departmental Committee on Agriculture, Livestock & Cooperatives as well as Catering & Health Club Committee.
While in the 12th parliament, he served in the Departmental Committee on Agriculture and Livestock until he got sick.
The MP has left behind four children and he survived with his second wife Susan Munyua after the death of his first wife several years ago.
He had appointed his last born son Martin Munyua to act as a personal assistant for the longest time. This was one way of sharpening his leadership skills.
The MP has been staying at his Juja residence located behind Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).
A source told Opera News that despite the MP having another home in a Nairobi posh estate, he preferred his Juja home because of proximity to the CDF offices.
The late Juja Mp was a close friend to former Kiambu governor William Kabogo and Thika town MP Wainaina Jungle.
While mourning him on his Twitter account, Kabogo disclosed he had visited Wakapee at MP Shah hospital.
Kabogo termed the visit as a goodbye.
“I went to check up on him earlier today at the hospital and the news of his untimely demise is indeed shocking and devastating, “he posted.
He added that Francis was an exceptional leader and a distinguished public servant.
“During our 30 years’ friendship, I had a great admiration for his commitment to personal values and integrity,” Kabogo said.
He had once requested Juja residents to vote for Thika Town MP Wainaina Jungle come 2022. The lawmaker is eyeing Kiambu gubernatorial seat.
Controversial love life
The late MP wasn’t new to scandals as immediately he became a member of parliament in 2013, it was allegedly rumoured that he married a cousin to his late wife who was nursing their children.
Opera News Kenya couldn’t ascertain the news as true or fake but in August 2015, a 25-year-old lady reported to Kasarani police station that he was receiving a threatening message from the legislator.
Martha Wanjiru Wahome told the police she had received the threats on July 29, just hours after she rejected a proposal by the MP to terminate a pregnancy.
“Since that time we have argued over the issue on the phone, but it’s an SMS which scared me most because he [the sender] told me he would send Mungiki to deal with me if I refused what he had told me,” Wanjiru said in the statement to investigators.
Elsewhere, the MP was allegedly accused by Susan Wambui of sexually harassing her by demanding sexual advances.
She had reported to Ruiru police about death threats but the MP denied according to media reports.
In response, the deceased said someone might have used his phone to send her threatening messages.
The lady had claimed that the MP fired her from the Juja CDF office after she refused to have sex with him.
The late MP told the media that his political detractors spent up to Sh2 million to pay those damaging his reputation according to his investigation.