Garissa Senator and former cabinet Minister Yusuf Mohammed Haji has died at the age of 80. Mr. Haji had been receiving treatment at the Aga Khan Hospital since his admission at the institution in September last year. It is alleged that Mr. Haji had fallen down and dislocated his hip shortly before he was brought to the hospital last year.
Yusuf Haji: Career Profile
Yusuf Haji entered the Kenyan politics as a District Officer in 1960. He quickly rose to become a Provincial Commissioner for the then North Eastern Province in 1970. He remained in office for this position until 1997.
Between 1998-2001, Mr. Haji was the Assistant Minister in the Officer of the President. But after the Kibaki Administration came to power in 2002, he was appointed for the position of Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs. In the 2007 elections, Yusuf Haji contested and won the Parliamentary seat for Ijara Constituency under the Kenya African National Union (KANU) ticket. Back then, the Ijara Constituency had just over 10,000 registered voters who were eligible to vote. The Constituency has five Wards including Ijara, Korisa, Kotile, Masalani and Sangailu.
Career administrator and former Cabinet Minister Mohamed Yusuf Haji dies at a hospital in Nairobi aged 80 after a long illness, family says. pic.twitter.com/fPn5tNTBv0— Robin Njogu (@robinnjogu) February 15, 2021
In 2008, Mr. Haji was appointed as Cabinet Minister for the Ministry of Defence. He went on to be instrumental in Kenya’s military operation in Somalia in 2012 popularly known as Operation Linda Nchi.
Mr. Haji was elected Senator of Garissa County in the 2013 general elections under the Jubilee Party ticket. He was re-elected in the subsequent 2017 election for the same position.
Leadership In the BBI process
Senator Yusuf Haji was the Chairman of the BBI Taskforce with Dr. Adams Oloo as his deputy chairman. The other BBI taskforce members include: Agnes Kavindu, Senator Amos Wako, Florence Omose, Saeed Mwanguni, James Matundura, Major (rtd) John Seii, Bishop Lawi Imathiu, Maison Leshomo, Morompi ole Ronkai, Bishop Peter Njenga, Rose Moseu, and Archbishop Zecheus Okoth.
With Mr. Haji’s leadership, the BBI task force presented the final BBI report to President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Bomas of Kenya on November 26, 2020.
Mr. Haji is survived by his two famous sons: Abdul Yusuf Haji who is a Kenyan businessman while his other son Noordin Haji is the Director of Public Prosecution for the Kenyan government.
Reaction from Other Leaders
Upon hearing the sad news about the passing of Senator Yusuf Haji, various political leaders offered their condolences to Mr. Haji’s family and friends. Some political leaders even went ahead and quoted the quran (since Yusuf Haji was a practising Muslim) in their remarks.
Senator Millicent Omanga:
“During his long political career, Hon. Mohamed Yusuf Haji held multiple ministerial responsibilities which enabled him to contribute towards Kenya’s economic stability, strengthening our defence capabilities and creating people friendly laws that enhanced great co-operation with other nations. He was outstanding, articulate and a steadfast leader.My condolences to his family, friends and the great people of Garissa. My thoughts and prayers are with them in this time of grief. Rest well colleague. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un” .#MamaMiradi
Former Prime Minister and ODM leader, Raila Odinga:
In the passing of Senator Yusuf Hajji (sic), Kenya has lost a dedicated patriot and a humble servant. We can only thank him for the years of his life that he gave in service of our country, his last great public passion being the Building Bridges Initiative. At this sad moment, we stand in prayers with his family that carries on with his passion for public service.
President Uhuru Kenyatta:
“It is very unfortunate that we have lost such a dependable, solid and highly accomplished Kenyan leader.”Mzee Haji was a highly respected leader and elder whose wisdom, deep knowledge of the Kenyan society and long experience as a public administrator enabled him to serve the country in various leadership roles with distinction for many years,” the President said.
“Mzee Haji was a steward of the BBI process and a strong pillar of our desire to construct a cohesive, peaceful and more progressive Kenyan nation. His stewardship of the initiative shall be missed,” the President eulogised.
Deputy President William Ruto:
The country has lost a devoted and indefatigable administrator who was cause-driven. Senator Mohamed Yusuf Haji was a gifted politician, modest yet strategic schemer with ground-breaking mediation skills.
He was selfless, progressive, dependable and a committed champion for a more united and inclusive Kenya. We will fondly remember Honourable Haji as a leader who robustly upheld and reinforced the reputation and integrity of public service.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Haji family, their loved ones and the people of Garissa County. Rest in peace, Honourable Haji.