Garissa Senator and Chair of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Taskforce Yusuf Haji is dead, the family has confirmed.
Haji, 80, died at the Aga Khan University hospital on Monday morning.
According to family members, the Senator was flown from abroad a fortnight ago and later admitted at Aga Khan University hospital, in Nairobi where he died Monday morning while receiving treatment.
Haji was a long time administrator who served in various areas including the vast Rift Valley between 1970 and 1998. He was nominated to Parliament in 2002. And in 2007, he was elected to Parliament unopposed as Ijara MP.
Haji was the Minister of Defence from 2008 to 2013 during Mwai Kibaki’s administration and briefly served as the acting Minister of Internal Security and Provincial Affairs in 2012.
It was during his tenure when the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) troops were deployed to Somalia to fight Al Shabaab.
Haji has served in the Senate since 2013 until his death.
Haji was a known peacemaker mostly working on reconciliation efforts between warring clans.
In 2014, Haji oversaw the signing of a peace agreement between communities in Wajir and Mandera counties to end the perennial clashes.
The agreement was signed by Degodia and Garre communities in the presence of National Cohesion and Integration Commission chairman Francis ole Kaparo and Haji in efforts to spearhead peace in the region.
In 2015, as he served as the chairman of the Senate National Security and Foreign Relations Committee, Haji proposed that individuals from indigenous communities be recruited in security teams to help fight against cattle rustling because of their knowledge of terrains.
He also proposed the establishment of border posts to check the proliferation of illegal firearms and budgetary allocations to help communities restock as other measures to curb the crime that had led to deaths.
The Garissa Senator also called on the government to declare border rows a national disaster claiming it was the next big insecurity threat after Al-Shabaab.
Haji’s sons Abdul Haji, and Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Mohamed Haji have played a role in security matters in the country.
During a terrorist attack at Westgate, Abdul Haji who had gone in search of his brother who had texted him that he was trapped in the mall, joined the police officers in the rescue operation.
The late Senator will be interred on Monday 4pm at Langata Muslim cemetry.