Cancer claims another top Kenyan as Governor Joyce Laboso dies

by David Karani

Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso has died of ovarian cancer at the Nairobi hospital.

Family sources confirmed the demise of the governor who was under medication two weeks after arriving from India and London where she had been hospitalised.

Earlier in the day, the hospital announced that she had been put under bed rest under the close attention of doctors.

Governor Laboso left the country on May 15 for Britain for treatment. She was admitted at the Royal Madden NHS Hospital where she underwent treatment for nearly a month. She was then transferred to India for further treatment three weeks ago. While in Britain, NASA leader Raila Odinga, Ambassador Manoah Espisu, Chief Justice David Maraga and Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony visited her.

Former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto also paid her a visit. Joyce’s death is yet another tragedy for the Laboso’s.  On June 10, 2008, her sister Lorna Laboso, who was an assistant minister, and Cabinet Minister Kipkalya Kones died in a  plane crash.

Dr Laboso, then a lecturer resigned her position and won the Sotik Parliamentary Seat on an ODM party ticket in 2008. The former French lecturer at Egerton University had been pulled from the lecture hall to fill the gap left by her younger sister Lorna.

Joyce would later be elected as the National Assembly Deputy Speaker before being elected Bomet Governor during the 2018 General Elections when she floored the incumbent Isaac Ruto of Chama Cha Mashinani party.

Together with Charity Ngilu of Kitui and Anne Waiguru of Kirinyaga, they made history as the first female governors in Kenya.

Dr Laboso is the third public personality to die of cancer this July. On July 1 Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore died of blood cancer. Four weeks later Kibra MP  Ken Okoth succumbed to colorectal on Friday, July 26.

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