John Keen

Veteran Maasai politician and former Cabinet Minister John Keen is Dead, aged 90.

He passed away on Christmas day at the Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi while receiving treatment. It is reported that Mr Keen had been ill for some time, visiting South Africa for treatment.

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Keen’s son, Anthony, who is also a politician, confirmed his father’s death adding that funeral arrangements would follow soon.

John Keen, born to a German father was among the biggest land owners in Kenya. He played a major part in the sensitisation of the Maasai Community on the importance of defending their land.

He held the office of assistant minister during the reign of President Moi in the 1980’s. He also served as Kajiado North MP under Kanu before falling out with Moi over the majimbo issue.

He later joined former president Mwai Kibaki to form the Democratic Party where he served as Secretary General.

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Since the breaking of the news of the demise of John Keen, condolence messages have poured in honouring the late politician which many described as a humanitarian.

President Kenyatta in a statement released following John Keen’s death said he was a generous and outspoken man especially in the defence of what he believed was right.

”I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Hon. John Keen earlier today… In colonial times, he stood firm in defence of African rights.”

Mr Kenyatta further added that Mr Keen had played a vital role in preparing for KANU’s elections ahead of Kenya’s independence and that only a few Kenyans could claim a life of such courage, sacrifice, or achievement.

DP Ruto described John Keen as a defender and campaigner of human rights in a series of tweets.

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ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, former assistant minister David Sankori, Kajiado politician Oliver Seki and governor David Nkedianye among many others have also sent their condolences to the bereaved family.