Malava’s former minister Soita Shitanda Peter died on Tuesday at Nairobi hospital.
His death shocked many top politicians including the President who, through Water CS Eugene Wamalwa, expressed his surprise for the death of his political friend. Wamalwa said:
“After the death of our brother Shitanda, I immediately informed the President and his Deputy who both have expressed shock at the sudden death of our brother.”
Wamalwa also noted that the president and his Deputy William Ruto had been keeping update of the progress at the hospital where they were told he was responding to treatment.
Amani Party leader Musalia Mudavadi in a tribute described late Soita as an outstanding MP for Malava who initiated many development projects. Mudavadi said:
“He was a good debater and legislator who initiated a lot of development projects while working as Housing Minister.”
Leader of Minority in the Senate and Bungoma senator Moses Wetang’ula described Soita as a gentle and devoted legislator who worked in two terms on his party ticket, Ford Kenya.
He commended the deceased for fighting for national unity and stimulated development activities in the ‘Mulembe’ nation.
Former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo, Mumias East MP Ben Washiali and former cabinet minister Musikari Kombo arrived at Nairobi hospital the moment they heard of his death. Jirongo, who described Soita as close pal, said:
“I was with him yesterday (Monday) and in fact we were not discussing his illness but politics,”
His former Personal Assistant Clement Museve said the former Minister was rushed to the hospital ICU on 8th after a Pneumonia attack but was discharged out of ICU last Sunday. Museve said:
“He was re-admitted in the ICU today (Tuesday) morning and passed on at around 1.30 pm.”
The death of the Minister comes barely three days after his brother was buried. ita’s brother Walucho was buried last Saturday at a funeral which he could not attend as he was in hospital. Soita Shitanda had been battling diabetes for a long time but it is alleged that he died from pneumonia.
Background Of The Late Former Minister Soita Shitanda
Soita Shitanda was born in Malava; Tande in 1959.
He went to Tande primary school for his Certificate of Primary Education 1967 to 1973 before enrolling in Malava High School for his O levels till 1977. He joined Kenya Polytechnic in 1978 and thereafter worked as a trainee accountant at the Attorney General Chambers before joining Strathmore College between 1983 and 1984.
He then worked in various capacities in accounts department of Ministry of Finance between 1984 and 1997 and was later employed as an Accountant at Investment Promotion Centre between 1991 until 1997, when he decided to try his luck in politics.
He was the co-founder of New Ford Kenya party with Kakamega Senator Dr Boni Khalwale in 1997.
Soita made his first attempt in 1997 and was elected to represent Malava Constituency in the National Assembly of Kenya. On a Ford Kenya ticket, he contested and won the then Minister of Health, the late Joshua Angatia. He was re-elected to parliament for the second time in 2002 on the NARC ticket and served as an assistant minister in the office of the president.
Later on, he was appointed minister for housing in a cabinet reshuffle in 2005. He was re-elected for the third time in 2007 and re-appointed Minister for Housing making him the longest serving MP for Malava constituency since independence.
He contested for Governor in the 2013 elections but lost to Governor Wycliffe Oparanya. He was serving as the chairman of the Agriculture Development Corporation before his demise.