Baringo Deputy Governor, Charles Kipng'ok on Wednesday, September 14, collapsed and died shortly after boarding a plane at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
The incident was confirmed by Baringo Governor, Benjamin Cheboi who added that Kipng'ok was expected to join other leaders for the Council of Governors induction in Mombasa.
Cheboi noted that at the time they could not tell the cause of death.
He also lauded efforts by the acting Director General for Health, Dr. Patrick Amoth who was also a passenger on the flight. Amoth attempted to resuscitate the deputy governor to no avail.
“It is a loss to us. We were just preparing to start the business of building our great county of Baringo,” the governor stated.
The national carrier had also issued a statement earlier, confirming that a passenger had collapsed and died after boarding a plane.
"Kenya Airways regrets to announce that a passenger developed breathing difficulties this evening while boarding KQ612 that was scheduled to depart for Mombasa at 1900hours.
"The passenger was pronounced dead by medical personnel at JKIA while the aircraft was still on the ground," read part of the statement.
KQ noted that the issue was being handled by JKIA health and law enforcement officers as they probe into the matter.
“The JKIA Health and Security agencies are currently handling the issue. We convey our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased during this difficult time."
In his condolence message, President William Ruto mourned the late DG as an amiable, astute and highly accomplished public servant and captain of industry with an enviable track record of success in the tea sub-sector.
"The sudden death of my friend Charles Kipng'ok is a big blow not only to his family, friends, Government and residents of Baringo County but to the entire country, especially the tea sub-sector where he excelled for decades before recently opting for elective politics.
"It is extremely unfortunate that the unforgiving hand of death has robbed our country of Hon Kipng'ok at the start of his term as Deputy Governor, a role that would have enabled him to contribute to the transformation of Baringo County," Ruto mourned
Kipng'ok had a stellar career in the tea industry before joining elective politics.
Initially, Kipng'ok worked in the private sector as the Chief Executive of Kaisugu and Kiptagich Tea Companies. Due to his vast experience in the tea industry, he was elected the chairman of the Kenya Tea Growers Association.
Kipng'ok had also worked at the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA), climbing the ranks from a Junior officer to a General Manager.
His efforts in the tea industry earned him a Head of State Commendation by former president, Mwai Kibaki.
The politician had graduated from the University of Eastern Africa with a Degree in Business Administration and Management.
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