Former Cabinet Minister Njenga Karume, who d**d aged 83 early today at Nairobi’s Karen hospital after a long battle with c****r, was set to be flown to Israel for specialised treatment before he succumbed to the d*****e.

The minister’s battle with c****r saw him seeking medical attention locally and in India, but his condition deteriorated forcing them to rush him to Karen Hospital. A person familiar with the family’s affairs told BUSINESS TODAY that arrangements had been made to fly Karume, a former charcoal burner who rose to become a business tycoon and minister, to Israel in a bid to save his life.

“His daughter Lucy flew to Israel early this week to look for a good hospital,” said the person who asked not to be named because of his relations with the Karumes. “Israel has some of the best hospitals and that’s where most people are treated. It is part of the medical tourism Israel is promoting globally that comes with great service.”

His d***h comes barely two weeks after rumours spilt into mainstream media that the former Kiambaa MP had d**d. The Standard and Nation Media Group, though their social sites pages, broke the news, which turned out to be false, forcing Njenga Karume to make a public appearance.

Karume had served in President Kibaki’s Cabinet and had stints in the defence and special programmes dockets. President Kibaki sent a message of condolence to the family, relatives and friends and said he had “learnt with a deep sense of loss the d***h of his dear friend”.

“We thank God for the great moment we shared with a fine gentleman and political ally that Karume was to me and my family, and political associates and followers,” President Kibaki said.

The President described the late Karume as an astute businessman and a quintessential Kenyan who rose from humble beginnings to build a business and political empire through sheer hard work and determination. He recalled that two weeks ago he visited Mr Karume at his home in Kiambu County and despite his failing health he exhibited great courage and passion for what he believed in.

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