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The National Assembly Mourns Governor (Dr.) Joyce Laboso, Governor, Bomet County and Hon. Ken Okoth; Urges For Action To Combat Cancer

The National Assembly this afternoon mourned Kibra MP, Hon. Kenneth Okoth and Bomet Governor, Hon. (Dr.) Joyce Laboso, amid calls for development of a strategy to combat the scourge of cancer, through which the two outstanding leaders lost their lives. In their honour, the House also observed a minute of silence.

While sending their messages of condolence in a session engulfed by a somber mood and which run through the first hour of the afternoon session, Members decried the prevalence of the disease in the country and called for sound policy development at the Ministry of Health, which would help promote early screening for cancer, while prescribing preventative and curative measures to combat the disease. The Members observed that both leaders had left a remarkable legacy whose impact will benefit multitudes of people, and whose accolades will continue to serve as an inspiration to many Kenyans across the country and beyond.

Making his Communication in the House at the beginning of the session, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Justin Muturi observed that Hon. Okoth was indeed a progressive legislator who had a mastery of House business and whose contribution in the House was invaluable. He further described him as a leader who was articulate and passionate in advocating for universal education and observance of human rights, who was instrumental in passage of the Prevention of Torture Act, 2017, and the National Coroners Service Act, 2017.

“Those who served alongside him in the Eleventh Parliament will agree that, his swift mastery and grasp of Parliamentary business ensured that his insightful and tremendously enriching contributions were keenly followed by all, particularly his contributions on legislation and matters relating to the education and human rights sectors”, Speaker Muturi noted.

Speaker Muturi further mourned Governor Laboso as a trailblazer, who made a mark in history by not only being elected woman Deputy Speaker in the National Assembly, but by also scoring another first; battling menfolk to clinch the Bomet Governor’s position, adding that her leadership was acclaimed beyond the country and the continent.

“The leadership of Dr. Laboso spanned across continent. She was elected Co-President of the African, Caribbean, Pacific and European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly and ably spearheaded the leadership of Parliaments representing nearly one hundred countries from four regions of the world in championing a parliamentary dimension in the ACP-EU partnership”, read a section of the Speaker’s communication.

The late Dr. Laboso was a distinguished scholar, who obtained her Masters in Teaching of English as a Foreign Language from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom and a PhD in Gender and Language Education at the University of Hull, United Kingdom, succumbed to cancer while undergoing treatment at the Nairobi Hospital.

Hon. Okoth, an alumni of Starehe Boys Centre, St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York and Georgetown University, Washington DC, also lost the battle with cancer at the same institution after gallantly fighting the disease.

The House has since constituted a 10- Member ad-hoc Committee led by the Leader of the Minority Party-which Hon. Okoth was a Member of, ad-hoc to liaise with the family in the funeral arrangements.