Former Kwale Woman Representative Zainab Chidzuga has passed on.
She died on Thursday afternoon at Reliance Hospital in South C, Nairobi, where she was receiving treatment.
Chidzuga’s daughter, television journalist Mwanaisha Chidzuga, said the politician succumbed to Covid-19 related complications.
The mother reportedly had Covid-19, healed, then breathing problems resurfaced.
The former lawmaker served as Kwale Woman Rep between 2013 and 2017 when she lost the seat to Zuleikha Juma of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party.
She had been elected on an ODM ticket before defecting to the ruling Jubilee party in the run-up to the 2017 General Election.
Before joining politics, Chidzuga was the Coast Province treasurer for Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organisation (MYWO) for more than two decades.
At one point, she also served as the chairperson, MYWO Kwale District.
According to Mzalendo Trust, a Parliamentary Monitoring Organization (PMO), International women politicians like Margaret Thatcher, Hillary Clinton and Sirleaf Johnson inspired her to join politics.
President Uhuru Kenyatta eulogized the deceased as a steadfast leader and astute grassroots mobilizer who helped uplift the welfare of women in Kwale County and across the country through her many initiatives.
“I have received the sad news of the passing away of Hon Zainab Chidzuga with a heavy heart. The ugly hand of death has robbed our country of a highly influential grassroots mobiliser and leader who was a role model to many women.
“Mama Zainab Chidzuga was a passionate advocate of women empowerment whose many achievements as an activist, legislator and mentor will continue shaping the gender agenda in our country for generations,” the President mourned.
In his message of condolence to Chidzuga’s family, Deputy President William Ruto mourned the deceased as a visionary leader who served the people of Kwale County with dedication.
We have lost a selfless and visionary leader who served the people of Kwale with dedication. Mheshimiwa Zainab Chidzuga was progressive, steadfast and focussed. We will remember her as a champion of women empowerment. pic.twitter.com/6g9OEcXoyv
— William Samoei Ruto, PhD (@WilliamsRuto) August 12, 2021
ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna is among politicians who also joined Kenyans in condoling with the former legislator’s family.
My condolences to the family and friends of mama Zainab Chidzuga,former Kwale County Woman Representative. Poleni sana.
Innalillahi waina ilayhi rajiun.
— Edwin Sifuna (@edwinsifuna) August 12, 2021